Orlando Reid Guide to Renting

At Orlando Reid, we are experts in renting properties to our tenants and advising them each step of the way. Here are 7 steps to renting a property through Orlando Reid.

Step 1: Make sure you have your finances and documents prepared

There are several costs involved in renting a property.

In 2020, the Tenant Fees Act 2019, came into full force meaning many of the fees once paid by the tenant, are now not payable. There are however some upfront costs involved before renting a property.

- Holding Deposit (equal to 1 week's rent)
- Tenancy Security Deposit (equal to 5 week's rent where the rent is less than £50,000 p/a and equal to 6 weeks rent where the rent is above this)
- First month’s rent

At the heart of your search should be your budget. If you have a monthly rental price in mind, make sure you check added costs including utility bills.

To save time when you start looking, make sure you have your identification documentation, immigration status and proof of address easily to hand.  

Step 2: Finding the right property for you

Most agents will have an income criteria as part of the referencing, and Orlando Reid require you to earn 2.5* the gross rent as a simple calculation.

It may be more affordable to add people you want to live as it will reduce the individual monthly costs.

Properties on the rental market can often be available to view around six to eight weeks before they are ready, so work to this timescale.

Start your search as soon as you know you need to move, up to 2 months prior.
Most agents will register you as an applicant and keep you updated on new properties during this time.

You can begin your property search with your agent online, over the phone or in the branch, but once you've discussed your needs and the agent narrows down the shortlist, the agent should then arrange a viewing appointment for you whether in person or via video tour.

Use our rental search and adjust the filters and advanced features to narrow down the search to find exactly what you want, where you want.

Sign-up Orlando Reid and you can save any property you like the look of to view and compare later on. When you progress to the viewings and offer stage, you'll be able to track the progress of your rental here too.

Step 3: Start viewing!

The rental market moves fast so if you see the perfect property with an Agent. You have to act quickly to secure it.  Arrange a viewing, or multiple viewings as soon as you can and try to view properties in quick succession so it’s easier to make a decision. Orlando Reid can offer virtual viewings in first instance using our 3D matterport technology before viewing the property in person.

Once you have found the right flat or house, you’ll need to put a holding deposit down to state your commitment to the property. 

Step 4: Tenancy Application

You will be asked to give references to your prospective landlord/agent to confirm your details and background. Most agents will ask you to complete the details of your references online. Please make sure you give plenty of contact details so that the process is quick.  It’s also worth speaking with your references/referees so they know they will be approached.

The typical referencing criteria consist of:

- Three years' address history
- Landlord details for any property rented in the last three years
- Confirmation of Salary.
- No adverse credit in the form of a county court judgement, bankruptcy order or similar
- If you are self-employed, either an accountant's reference or evidence on the last three years' tax returns

A Tenancy Agreement is a legally binding document that sets out the terms of the tenancy and is drawn up to ensure that the rights and obligations of both tenant and Landlord are adhered to. 

Once the deposit is paid in full along with the first month’s rent and the tenancy is fully signed, the property is secured, and keys can be released to you.

A tenancy deposit is held to give your Landlord protection in case you leave without paying the rent; cause damage to the property and / or its contents or you breach a term of the tenancy. Your tenancy agreement will show clearly what the deposit is for and how it will be dealt with under the terms of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme laws, according to what type of Tenancy you have.  You will be informed which government approved scheme is being used by your Agent/Landlord and you should get a confirmation once the deposit is correctly registered, this should happen within 30 days of you paying it.

Step 5: Moving in

On your move-in date, there are several factors you need to look out for.

All tenants/ guarantors to sign the Tenancy Agreement which can be done electronically using Orlando Reid’s E signature tools.

Your agent can then hand over a copy of the Tenancy Agreement for your records along with the contact details of who you deal with going forward -this may be the Agent or the Landlord.  They will normally also provide you with a copy of the Gas Safety Certificate (if applicable), EPC, How to Rent Guide/Rent Smart Wales leaflet as a minimum.  From 1st July 2020, you should also receive a copy of an Electrical Safety Report.

Future rent payments will normally be made monthly and paid by standing order – your agent will give you all the forms to complete or bank details, so you can set this up in time for the next rent due date.  If you are provided with a Payment Reference Number, ensure you use this so your rent can be found quickly once paid. Orlando Reid only accepts payments from one bank account for the full gross monthly rent.

Your keys will be available to collect either at the local branch or at your check-in appointment from either the Landlord or inventory clerk; your local office will go through this with you beforehand and make the appointment.

The inventory is a detailed list of the property contents and condition at the point that you move into it. By both parties agreeing that the inventory is correct at the start of the tenancy, any risk of disputes at the end of the tenancy will be minimised. We recommend therefore that you thoroughly check the inventory before you sign. This document is used when you move out of the property to so that any changes can be easily identified and charged for.

You will also be given login details for your online account where there is safekeeping of important documents such as your tenancy agreement or deposit certificate. 

Step 6: Living in your new property

If your property is managed by the Agent, you will be advised who to contact during your tenancy. They will discuss maintenance issues with you and whether action is needed either by yourself or the Landlord- depending on whether the issue is a long-term fault or through 'wear-and-tear'. Orlando Reid provides an online reporting tool for maintenance issues and an emergency contact phone number.

If your property is managed by the Landlord, you will be advised of their name and contact details and you should contact them directly with any issues you may have.

A property managed by the Agent will receive regular visits to the property. This will give the Agent an opportunity to check the property is being cared for on behalf of the Landlord – this will normally occur only a few times a year.  It is also an opportunity for Tenants to raise any queries during their time at the property.  Many Landlords do not live nearby so the Agent is often employed to ensure the property maintains in a good condition for you to live in.  If the Landlord manages the let themselves, they also may wish to visit periodically – both Landlords and Agents must give you proper written notice of when this may happen. Please note there also maybe property visits in the last two months of your tenancy for new prospective tenants to view.

Towards the end of the fixed term of your contract, the agent or landlord will be in touch to find out what you would like to do - you will need to decide whether to extend your stay or move out. Make sure you get in touch so the agent/ landlord can action the necessary. 

Step 7: Moving out of the property

It’s best to let us know at least 2 months before the end of the fixed term that you may want to move out.  If Orlando Reid manages the property for the Landlord, we'll arrange a check-out appointment with you, so we can both ensure the property is left in an appropriate condition in accordance with the deposit legislation.  At this point, you will hand back the keys. If the Landlord manages the property, you will need to contact them directly to arrange a time and date to meet there, complete a checkout and hand the keys back.

Once you know you are moving out and you have told the agent/ landlord, you'll need to make sure that the property is left in good condition for you to be entitled to your full deposit back. Most agents will confirm in writing to you certain requirements and tips in order that you can do this easily.  If there are no deductions or disputes and all the necessary forms are filled out correctly by you and by the Landlord, your deposit should be returned ten days later in accordance with the tenancy agreement.