Guide to rent
a property in London
Step by step for your rental guide
This renting guide is aimed at helping you with the different stages in renting an apartment or house in London. It is not so simple to find a property in London especially if you are not familiar with the area or if you are from abroad. GAAM International will help you to find the accommodation that will suit you. It is always a good idea to get help from a relocating agent, as they can offer expert advice to find the best property to rent. We can assist you all the way up until when you move.
What is included in the price when renting a property in London?
Before making your offer always make sure to check whether bills and any other charges are included in the rent. For student accommodation and private residence, most often the bills are included (electricity, water, internet, heating…) but for any other rent of properties in London, this may not be the case. Any services or anything which is shared by the block or apartment (lift, garage, garden…) are included in the price. Sometimes, if the apartment comes with storage space or room, the landlord may need it for him/herself and you may not have any access to its use. You will also need to pay council tax, where the price varies from each borough. If you are a student you will not need to pay the council tax by showing proof of your studies. You do not need to worry about home insurance; this is up to the landlord to insure the house. You may want to insure your furniture if you bring in your own.
Guide for making an offer to rent a property in London
Once GAAM International has found the property that is best suited for you, we will put down an offer to the property agent. The offer can be negotiable, where GAAM International will be there to assist with the negotiation. This, of course, is dependent on the price but not only. The earlier you move in to the apartment the more chance you have negotiating with the landlord. It is also common to negotiate for refreshing needs, such as painting, changing the carpet or adding furniture or taking it off. Regarding furnished and unfurnished properties, some may offer furnished included in the price and if you do not want furnished, some may charge for the storage cost of the furniture. All this must be clear before making the offer as there is no global rule and every landlord agrees differently. If you move in with your pets, it is better to tell GAAM International at the start, to avoid visiting flats where the landlord does not allow having pets. The state agent will notify this to the landlord. The agency may ask you for your card details in order to secure the property, and will be used if the offer goes through. At this point, you may also be asked for some information to give to the landlord, and details of the offer in question. Once the offer is accepted by the landlord you will have to pay a holding deposit, which is usually the cost of one to two weeks of rent. If you decide to not go ahead with the apartment, that deposit will be held by the landlord and is not refundable. If, on the contrary, the reference checks do not go through the deposit will be given back to you.
References of the tenants before renting a property in London
Before signing a contract for a property in London, the estate agency undertakes a reference check. This is to identify who you are, check your solvency and ensure you are responsible and reliable tenants. The references asked will be of your previous landlord, or, if not rented before, of someone who knows you for at least the previous three years. Family members will not be accepted as an acceptable reference. A copy of the most recent payslips will need to be shown, where your employer will be contacted. In case where you have not started your job, you will need to show a proof of contract with a contact number of the employer, where in this case he/she will be contacted to verify your position and salary. Regarding checking your solvency, credit checks will be undertaken, by asking for your bank statements of the last three months, with the address matching the application form. In the case of an international student, an English guarantor will need to be set up and their financial information will need to be checked. If a student has no parents or guardian or a substitute as a guarantor, they will be required to pay six months of rent upfront. Similarly for any situation where you do not receive a salary, you will need to pay six months of rent upfront, unless in a flat share where only one month upfront will be required. To check your identity, you will need to provide a copy of your passport, and your last address, even if from a different country.
Signing the tenancy agreement
At this stage you will need to pay a deposit for an offer of six weeks of the rent. This will be kept in a deposit protection scheme, where your money is safe and essentially not accessed by the landlord or state agency, nor by GAAM International!
Please be aware that the amount of the deposit will be of eight weeks if you move in with pets or in some cases if you are a smoker. At this step, the estate agency will give you the tenancy agreement to sign (AST) Vocabulary for rental guide.
Moving in to your property in London
Before you move in to your apartment, it will be cleaned professionally so it will be ready for you to move in. Be careful to well look after your house or apartment because otherwise you will not get back your deposit. Making holes in the wall with a nail to hang something or even using tape may not be allowed at all.
Leaving your property
As mentioned, when you leave your apartment, you have to leave in the condition you find it. You need to bring in professional cleaners to clean the apartment so it is ready for the next tenants, as you found it.
Call us now +44 (0) 207 602 9926 or on firstname.lastname@example.org to see how we can help you to find the best property in London to rent or let us contact you.