A tenant’s guide to renting

If you’re looking to rent somewhere to make your home, two things will be key to your search:

  • An experienced letting agent who will listen to, and take account of your needs, whilst balancing the requirements of the landlord.
  • Honesty and transparency, so that you know exactly what you’re expected to pay, and won’t suddenly be presented with a list of unexpected or hidden charges.

TwoCan has both the knowledge and commitment to openness that you’re looking for. In fact, we’ll tell you right now what you might end up paying us to manage your rental and, if you find another agent who can arrange your move for less, we’ll match or improve upon their fees.

1Draw up a wishlist

A lot will depend on how long you intend to live in your next home. The longer you plan to live somewhere, the more you will want to tick off your wishlist. On the other hand, if you’re just looking for a six-month stop-gap, your list of needs will probably be shorter. Either way, decide what you want, need and are prepared to compromise on – then narrow down your search to match your needs and preferred location.

2Budget

It’s not quite as straight-forward as just setting a budget to cover your rent. You will need to account for the cost of running your home such as council tax, gas, electricity and water.

The biggest chunk of money you’ll need to find is one month’s rent in advance, plus the deposit, which is equal to six weeks’ rent. You will get this back at the end of your tenancy, provided you leave the property in good condition (subject to fair wear and tear). The cost of repairing damage, cleaning or similar that is required will be deducted from your deposit.

There are some other one-off start-up costs you need to factor in, including your tenancy deposit and some administration charges. You’ll find a full list on our ‘Cost of renting a property page’.

3Arrange some viewings

Decide which properties you like the look of, give us a call or send us an email and we will arrange to get you out to have a look at your selection.

Remember, the lettings market can move very quickly so, if you see something you like and don’t act on it immediately, you run the risk of losing it.

If you don’t find something straight away it is definitely worth registering for an online account with us. That way we can alert you as soon as properties suiting your requirements become available. It’s free, quick and simple to set up and, once it’s done, we’ll let you know when we find something we think you might like.

4Securing the property

Don’t delay when you find what you’re looking for. Tell us as soon as you’ve decided, so that we can secure the property for you.

5Credit checks and referencing

We will need some, or all, of the following – depending on your circumstances:

  • A list of addresses where you’ve lived over the last three years.
  • Bank account details.
  • Details of any previous landlords, going back over the last three years.
  • Proof of salary/income and your employer’s details.
  • If you are self-employed you will need to provide an accountant’s reference or sight of your last thee years’ tax returns.

If you have a county court judgement or poor credit score, it may still be possible to proceed provided you have someone who will act as your guarantor, ie they would be contractually liable – both financially and legally – if you fail to pay your rent or if you damage the property. Any guarantor would need to pass the same credit and referencing checks.

6The deposit

This is the final stage of securing the property. Now you need to pay the equivalent of six weeks’ rent, which will be held for the duration of your tenancy. There may be occasions where this sum could be lower so, if you are struggling to find the full deposit, it is worth speaking to us early as there could be some alternative solutions.

If we manage the property on behalf of the landlord, the deposit will be registered with the Deposit Protection Scheme (DPS). However, if the landlord is managing the property themselves, we will tell you where you deposit is registered, along with the terms and conditions.

7Protecting you and the landlord

You will need to complete a Tenancy Agreement, which is a legally-binding document setting out the terms of the tenancy and the rights and obligations of everyone involved. All parties will be required to sign it.   

8Inventory

This is a very important element of the process as it details the contents and condition of the property, prior to you moving in. Both you and the landlord will need to sign the inventory to confirm its accuracy. If the landlord has signed up to our ‘twocan’ package, we will arrange for an independent inventory clerk to prepare this document which wont cost you a penny.

9Moving in

When all the paperwork has been completed and your deposit, one month’s rent and the relevant administration fees have reached our account, you will be able to pick up your keys.

If possible, it’s a good idea to try and arrange for the money to be sent at least 48 hours before you intend to move in, as there can sometimes be delays between banks. The last thing you want is to send the removal vans away because the money hasn’t arrived on time, and you’re not able to move when you wanted after all.

10Property checks

You will be left to enjoy your new home but we will need to carry out occasional inspections to make sure everything is OK in the property. This usually happens only once or twice a year, but that depends upon the level of service the landlord has signed up to. We will always give you at least 48 hours notice prior to carrying out any inspection.

11The end of your tenancy

As the end of your tenancy agreement approaches, you will have a couple of options: 1) to continue renting the same property (subject to your landlord’s approval), or 2) to move out. Whichever you choose, you will need to give us two months’ written notice.

  • Continue renting: Provided all parties agree to this, we will arrange for a new tenancy agreement to be signed. There will be a small fee to cover the administration of this. If there has been any change in your circumstances, we may need to carry out some additional checks, but we will let you know if this is needed.
  • Moving out: If we manage the property on behalf of the landlord, we will make arrangements for a check-out to take place when you have left. An independent inventory clerk will attend with the original inventory and check everything is in order. Alternatively, if the property is managed directly by the landlord, you will need to arrange to meet at the property, where they will organise the check-out and take back the keys.

12Returning your deposit

The key to this process running smoothly is making sure the property is handed back in good condition, so that there’s no work to be done and your deposit is returned in full.  All being well, you will have your full deposit returned within two working weeks.

Request a call back

If you would like further information about letting a property please call us or get in touch using the form and we will call you back.