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Tenants' guide to renting a property

If you are thinking of becoming a landlord, or have already had experience with letting, this guide will help you understand some of the processes and obligations involved.

Preparing to rent


Ahead of your property search, getting to grips with this essential information will ensure you’re prepared for a successful application when you find the right house.


It helps to review your finances to work out what deposit and monthly rental level you can afford prior to looking for a property.

Renting with pets

Be open and flexible about your intention to rent with a pet and make sure you can provide your potential landlord with as much information as possible. This could be a pet biog or reference from a previous landlord.

Reassure your landlord by being ready to potentially offer a larger deposit to cover any pet-related damages to the property, as well as having the property professionally cleaned when your lease is up.

Once you have permission to rent with your pet, ensure that the terms are written into your contract to prevent future misunderstandings. 


If you are a student or unemployed you will need a guarantor. You may also require a guarantor should your income fall short of the required figure. To determine this, check that your annual salary is at least 30 times the monthly rent. For example, a rent of £500pcm would require a minimum of £15,000 annual salary. Each guarantor will need to complete an application form and be referenced before a tenancy can be considered. The guarantor will also have to sign the deed of guarantee before the tenancy can proceed.

Advance Payment

An advanced payment of a month’s rent and the security deposit must be paid before the keys can be released. Your initial payment can only be made by banker’s draft or building society cheque.

Tenants Holding Deposit

We ask you to pay one week’s rent as a Holding Deposit, in line with the Tenant Fees Act 2019 (England only). This is to reserve a property. Please Note: this will be withheld if any relevant person (including any guarantor(s) withdraw from the tenancy, fail a Right-to-Rent check, provide materially significant false or misleading information, or fail to sign their tenancy agreement (and / or Deed of Guarantee) within 15 calendar days (or other Deadline for Agreement as mutually agreed in writing).

Discover more rental terminology and useful information in our Rental FAQs.

You can also check out the government’s How To Rent: The Checklist For Renting In England.

Finding and securing a home

Here are a few considerations to help you find the right home and understand what happens next.

Search criteria

Have you compiled a checklist of needs and wants to help your search? There are so many types of property and possible locations available it may help to narrow down your search.

We recommend that you take a look at properties to let via our website and also strongly advice you DO NOT post a general plea for a property to let on social media to avoid becoming the victim of a social media scam as some tenants do.


Please be aware that some landlords impose certain restrictions in respect of the following: pets, smokers, housing benefit and students. Please refer to your local branch for further information on individual properties and if restrictions apply.


When you find a home that suits your needs we’ll ask you to complete a simple application form. Anyone who is over the age of 18 will be asked to fill out an application form. Please ensure that all sections of the form are completed, we will then process your references quickly and confidentially.


You will also be asked to complete a direct debit/standing order mandate for the monthly rental payments. This will be payable each month in advance and will be collected on a set date as stated in the tenancy agreement. For joint or multiple tenancies, only one mandate can be accepted.

It is also important to remember to keep paying your rent, on time and in full, as this may affect your credit score.


It usually takes a minimum of 7 working days before you will be able to move into your property. Although every effort will be made by all parties to accommodate your moving date, unfortunately, no guarantees can be made. The branch at which you submit your application will notify you as to whether your application has been successful. Once your application has been approved, a mutually convenient time and date will be agreed for the tenancy to commence. At this point it will be necessary for all prospective tenants and guarantor/s (where required) to attend the office to sign the tenancy agreements and other relevant documentation. Once the Tenancy Agreement has been signed you will receive a counterpart copy for your retention.

Moving in


Reeds Rains will write to the gas, electricity and water suppliers notifying them of meter readings at the commencement of the tenancy. We will also write to the local authority for council tax purposes. Please note that we strongly recommend that you also inform the suppliers to ensure that your details have been received and processed.


Tenants Content Insurance

The Landlord is not responsible for insuring any of your personal belongings. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you obtain adequate contents insurance.

Non-Managed Lets

Where Reeds Rains Lettings is not responsible for the management of the tenancy, you will be given the Landlord’s contact details in case you need to report any maintenance problems.

In case of emergency

You can find details of who to contact, depending on which branch looks after you on our emergency contact page. 

Rental fraud

Rental Fraud occurs when tenants are tricked into paying up front fees, deposits or rent to criminals; many of whom have led victims to believe that rental properties belong to them when they don’t. Criminals place fake adverts with properties to let (stealing photos and property details from unsuspecting private landlords or letting agents) or respond to online requests for rental properties (which often appear on social media).

To prevent Rental Fraud tenants should research any letting agency, landlord or property before handing over any money – using the internet, review sites or phoning contacts using publicly available contact details. Posting a request for rental properties online is not recommended.

Overall, as always, it’s important to remain vigilant to prevent being a victim of fraud, you may also find the information available on Bonnards special ‘Your Security’ section useful. 

Information is also available on the Action Fraud’s website. If you live in Northern Ireland, you can report a fraud on the Police Service of Northern Irelands website and for Wales visit South Wales Police fraud information page. 

Remember, at Reeds Rains we never ask for payment via social media or for customers to share information from payment cards. ne of the team.  

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