Tenant's Guide McAllister Estate Agents Antrim

Tenant's Guide

McALLISTER ESTATE AGENTS ANTRIM

Renting appeals to many due to the flexibility that it offers, but there are still important decisions to be made when deciding where to live.

Tenant application form Information for Tenants

WHAT CAN YOU AFFORD?

When you are planning to rent a property it's crucial to establish what you can comfortably afford to pay each month. In addition to the regular monthly rental payments, you will also need to pay a security deposit, which is usually equivalent to one month's rent.

Once you know what you can afford, the search process can begin.

REGISTERING YOUR REQUIREMENTS

The first step in finding your ideal property is to register your interest with us. Our agents will ask you about your budget, your desired location and your 'must haves'. They will then call you when a suitable rental property becomes available, often before the property is released to the market.

CHOOSING A FULLY MANAGED PROPERTY

More and more tenants are looking for efficiently-run properties that are maintained to a good standard. When you choose one of our managed properties, you can rest assured that this will be the case.

You will be appointed a property manager who will be your first point of contact for all maintenance and repair issues and will always be at the end of the phone, should you have any queries or concerns.

FINDING YOUR NEXT HOME

When searching for the right property, there usually has to be some form of compromise. It is very hard to find the ‘perfect property’ as, more often than not, it doesn’t exist. We recommend that you make a list of your ‘must haves’ and ‘nice-to-haves’ and use these in your search.

We also suggest that you do your research on an area in which you would like to live and make a note of the things that are important to you, for example, transport links or proximity to shops or schools.

Finally, always be open minded about properties new to the market. You may end up falling in love with a completely different property to the one that you thought you would at the start of your search.

VIEWINGS

The best way to decide whether a property is for you is to go and view it. We encourage potential tenants to be as flexible as possible due to the current high demand in the rental sector. Good properties rent quickly, so if you see something you like, book an early viewing. You could miss out on a property if you don’t make yourself available within 24 hours of an agent contacting you.

Always ask questions of the agent who is showing you a property – don’t let the colour of a room or size of a sofa put you off. If you would like changes made to a property, be sure to put your request in as soon as you decide to apply for a tenancy. We encourage our landlords to be flexible and to consider all reasonable requests, but it could be much harder to get these jobs completed once you have taken up residency.

SECURING A RENTAL PROPERTY

Once you have found the right property for you, it’s time to make an offer to the agent. Our application form is straightforward to complete and can be submitted online. Once we receive this, we will put your application forward to the landlord.

Please note - to apply for any tenancy, you must be over 18 years of age and agree to be credit checked.

HOLDING DEPOSIT

Once the landlord accepts your application, we will request a holding deposit from you.  This is usually equivalent to one month’s rent. When we receive this, we will take the property off the market. When your tenancy commences, your holding deposit converts to a security deposit. At this point your landlord has a responsibility to register your deposit in a government backed tenancy deposit scheme.

TENANCY REFERENCING

Tenancy referencing is a common practice for an agent to undertake on behalf of a landlord. The purpose of this is to verify that you have the ability to pay the rent and that you have rented a property in the past without any issues. The process usually involves the following three steps:

  • Credit check - we can perform this on your behalf for a fee. Alternatively, you can provide us with an up to date credit check from a recognised credit referencing agency.
  • Landlord reference – from a previous landlord or letting agent.
  • Employment details – your employer’s name, your job role, salary and length of service.

A guarantor may be required to support your tenancy if you fail a credit check or find it difficult to provide references. If you have any concerns about starting the referencing process, it is best to share these concerns with the agent at the outset.

SIGNING THE TENANCY AGREEMENT

Once your offer on a rental property has been accepted, the next step will be to sign the tenancy agreement and pay the security deposit. The tenancy agreement is between you and the landlord and must be signed before you can move into your new property. The document is legally binding and we would advise that you take time to read and understand it. If there is any aspect of the agreement that you do not understand, please ask a member of staff for an explanation.

Your tenancy agreement will include the property address, the name of the landlord and tenant, the rent payable, the amount of the deposit held and what it may be used for and the start date and length of tenancy. If you are renting one of our fully manged properties, your deposit will be secured with TDS NI - a Government-backed protection scheme.

Moving Day

When the fees, deposit and first month’s rent have been paid, funds are cleared and the tenancy agreement has been signed, you are ready to move in! We will meet you at your new property to complete our handover. At the handover we will prepare an inventory. The inventory is a list of everything that is included in the property you are renting, together with details on the condition that the items and the property are in.

We will also take a meter reading to enable you to set up your new accounts. You should start your own insurance cover on this day for your own furnishings and personal property, as the landlord will not be responsible for insuring these items. Finally, don’t forget to notify the electoral register of your new address.

Collecting The Rent

Your rent will be collected on a monthly basis by standing order – you will be given a standing order form in your moving in pack and you must complete this and hand it in to your own bank. The rent will then be sent to the agent/landlord on a set day each month. If you leave at the end of your agreement, you are responsible for cancelling the standing order mandate.

Going The Extra Mile

Our commitment to you as a tenant does not stop the on the day you move into your rental property. If we are managing your property on behalf of the landlord, we will always be at the end of the telephone should you have any questions or concerns.

MOVING OUT

If you do not wish to extend your tenancy beyond the original term, it is good practice to give your landlord 28 days’ written notice of your intention to move out. Please note that this notice can’t take effect until after the expiration of the original term of the tenancy agreement.

A detailed inventory check will be carried out when you vacate the property. Provided that the condition of the property is the same as when you moved in (barring normal wear and tear), your deposit will be returned promptly to you.

We hope you have found the above guide for renting property useful.

Please contact us for any information or to get started with your RENTAL PROPERTY SEARCH

Tenant application form Information for Tenants

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