Tenants FAQs

Letting Guidelines for Tenants

Hopefully this page will answer a lot of the questions you might have as a tenant wanting to rent a property, but if you can’t find the answer here or would prefer to contact us please ring our lettings team on 0207 394 1160, or get in touch using this form and we will get back to you. Click here

1. What will I need to provide, to rent a property through Riley Marshall?

We will need a proof of ID and we ask you to fill in an application form so we can take up references from your employer and previous landlords. We will also carry out a credit check, plus sometimes we will need to see bank statements. If the landlord has any other requirements we will make these clear to you before you apply for the property.

2. Do you have property close to where I work/study?

You can search our site by location, price and size of property. We always list the nearest station so you can see how easy your journey will be.

3. How do I know what the area is like?

Our negotiators are experienced in navigating around all the areas where we deal with property, so if you have a particular requirement or want advice, then speak to us and we will be able to advise you.

4. Why do you ask me so many questions when I register?

We want to know whether the property has all the things you need – ie. the right location, that it is within your budget, has parking if you need it, a garden if you want one garden, whether it will accept pets etc. If it doesn’t then we don’t want to waste your time by showing you unsuitable properties, especially as this may mean you miss out on something that would be useful to you.

5. Why have I been asked for a Guarantor?

Students (or tenants with financial complications) may have to provide a guarantor, who becomes responsible for overdue rent or damage caused by the tenant they are guaranteeing. However they should be aware that in a joint tenancy they are also responsible for the financial responsibilities of all the other tenants in the property too.

6. Can I keep pets at the property?

This is entirely up to the landlord and you should ask permission before you move a pet in. If you are allowed to have pets, make sure you know the landlord’s terms. You may have to pay an extra deposit, and the landlord may ask you to agree to have the house professionally cleaned and/or treated for fleas before you leave.

7. What is an inventory for?

An inventory is designed to give you and the landlord an accurate record of the condition of the property and any furniture, fittings and fixtures.

8. Why should I use an agent to find a property to rent?

Many landlords will only publicise their properties with an agent, so you have a greater choice. Agents should be able to update you using any contact method you prefer, including social media and internet tools. We will ask you how you want to be updated and make sure we have all the relevant contact details for you. We do not charge any fees until we have found you the property you want take.

9. Why do I pay you a fee?

The landlord and tenant share the fees for setting up a tenancy – we are very transparent about our fees and we only charge you a fee once you are committed to renting a property through us. Agents fees are clearly displayed in all our adverts on the website.

10. Can I share a property?

Yes you can share with other tenants; each will be named and will be jointly and severally liable. That is they will all be equally responsible for the rent payments as well as any other terms in the agreement.

11. Will you find me someone to share with?

Occasionally we have a house rented by the room, however usually you will need to find tenants to share with, as you need to be sure you can live with the other person.

12. Do all the tenants who will share need to see the property?

That is up to your group, but it is best if all the decision-makers can see the property at the same time, otherwise you risk losing a suitable property to someone else. The London rental market moves very quickly so you need to be in a position to be decisive when you find the perfect property.

13. What do I do if I am sharing and someone wants to move out?

This will depend on whether you intend to stay on, and find another tenant to share with you, or if you want to leave too. If you are part-way through a fixed term agreement there are likely to be costs charged to you for setting up a new contract. Talk to us at the earliest opportunity so we can liaise with your landlord to find the fairest outcome.

14. Can I sublet in the future if I need to?

This is entirely up to the landlord’s discretion – if this situation is becoming likely you should speak to us as soon as possible (or your landlord if they are managing the property).

15. How much notice do I have to give to end my tenancy?

The period of notice is described in your tenancy agreement and is usually two months, unless there is an alternative arrangement made. Notice should always be given in writing, and you should ask for acknowledgement.

16. What will I be responsible for while I am renting?

Make sure you budget for all the things you will be responsible for while you are renting:

  • Bills – It is usually your responsibility to pay for gas, electric, water and Council Tax bills. Also you are responsible for TV licence, phone charges, SKY and broadband charges, and you may need to pay service charges. Check if you are not clear.
  • Deposit – this is held in case you damage the property during your tenancy and returned to you if there is no damage. The amount is usually between on and two months’ rent and is paid before you move in. It is refundable after you have moved out and the property has been checked over, providing it is in the same condition it was when you moved in.
  • Rent – The first month’s rent is required in cleared funds before you move in. Then each month’s rent in paid advance. Make sure you can pay on time.
  • You should check with us when the landlord expects rent payments, to make sure you do not fall behind.
  • You can shop around for the best energy deals, but please tell whoever is managing the property that you want to change supplier before you do so.
  • Cleaning – Your agreement may include a requirement to have the carpets and curtains professionally cleaned when you leave. In any case you should make sure the property is thoroughly cleaned when you leave. We can help you find professional cleaners if you need them.
  • Check that your Tenancy Agreement accurately reflects your understanding of what you agreed to. For example, do you have a pet that has been accepted by the landlord or is there an extra charge for parking that you thought was included as part of the rent? If you have any queries about your tenancy agreement you should contact us, and of course you can take independent legal advice.