The purpose of this guide is to give you information as to what you will have to provide if you wish to rent a property through Churchills, how much our referencing and admin costs are and what you need to do. If you are unsure about any of the following we advise you to speak to us BEFORE submitting any reference forms or paying a holding fee.

Holding Fee

Once you have found a property you wish to rent you will be required to pay a Holding Fee. The Holding Fee consists of the reference and admin fee for each Tenant and Guarantor (if applicable) and £100 towards the first months rent. You can pay the Holding Fee either by cash, debit or credit card or a payment straight into our account. Please note for credit cards there is a 3% administration fee that will be added. The Holding Fee is NON-REFUNDABLE. In the event that you withdraw from the transaction and/or your references prove to be unsatisfactory and the landlord does not proceed the holding fee will not be returned to you.

References

All Tenants over the age of 18 are subject to referencing, regardless of who is paying the rent. Each applicant will be required to complete a reference form, and provide identification in the form of a passport and two proofs of address – one that is between 3 and 6 months old and another that is within the last month. It would also be helpful if you could provide your National Insurance card, last 6 months pay slips and last P60. If you are from outside the EU you will need to provide the relevant documentation that shows you can live and work in the UK. Please note we will take copies of all of the above documentation.

We use a credit referencing company who will carry out a credit search on each Tenant and Guarantor (if applicable) to make sure there is no history of County Court Judgements, bankruptcy or Individual Voluntary Agreements (IVA). If you know you have one of these then please inform us immediately. In addition the reference company will obtain an employer reference to confirm your employment status and salary, an accountant’s reference if you are self employed and a landlord reference if you are moving from rented accommodation. If you are self employed you will need to be self employed for at least one year otherwise you will not pass the reference checks. You will also need to provide your last 6 months personal bank statements if you are self employed.

Please note our reference and admin fee is £160.00 inclusive of Vat per Tenant and per Guarantor.

Guarantor

If you have a bad credit history and / or are leaving home for the first time you may be required to nominate someone to act as a guarantor.

A guarantor must live in the UK, be a home owner, be in full time employment and earn a salary that covers the rent. A guarantor will be required to follow the reference procedure as outlined above and provide the same documentation and ID. They will also be required to sign a Deed of Guarantee, please ask for an example.

Tenancy Agreement

You and the Landlord will be required to sign an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement (AST). This is a legally binding contract and as such we advise you to read it thoroughly before signing and make sure you understand all the terms and conditions. We will provide you with an example to read through.

Deposit

You will be required to put down a deposit, normally equivalent to one month’s rent although this can vary so please check. The deposit is taken for any damages, repairs, etc found at the property once you have left. Churchills are members of the Tenants Deposit Scheme (TDS) and as such will hold your deposit as stakeholder. Your deposit will be returned to you once we have signed written agreement from both you and the landlord. No interest will be paid.

Inventory, Schedule of Condition, Check In and Check Out

The landlord of the property may decide to have an inventory and schedule of condition prepared by an independent company. This will be so there is a written record as to what is at the property, what condition the items are in and what condition the property’s carpets, walls, etc are in at the time you move in. You may be asked to share the cost of this or pay for the report to be checked at the end of the Tenancy (known as a Check Out).

You may be asked to attend a Check In. A Check In is where you meet the Inventory clerk at the property on the day your Tenancy begins and go round agreeing what is in the report.

Moving In

On the day your Tenancy begins all applicants will need to attend our office to sign the paperwork, pay the rent and deposit and then attend a Check In (if applicable). Please allow approximately 1.5 hours.

Utilities

Unless otherwise stated, you will be responsible for paying the council tax, gas, electricity and water charges at the property. Once your Tenancy has started we will email the relevant utility companies with your names, contact numbers and the meter readings. Please note we cannot set up the account for you in terms of how often you pay. We, therefore, advise that once settled in you contact the relevant companies and advise them how you wish to pay i.e. monthly, quarterly, etc.

We trust you find this guide useful and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask.