Tenant Guide to Renting A Property - Oasis Living - Zero Fees Lettings

The Bottom Line

Oasis Living Traditional Letting Agents
No deposit required Expensive deposits
No admin fees Unnecessary admin fees
No renewal fees Unnecessary renewal fees
Help to manage your bills No help managing bills
Better maintenance reporting and resolution Slow and outdated processes for report maintenance issues

 

This guide aims to help you understand the process of moving into your new rental home. With Oasis Living, things are slightly different than you may be used to and for good reason. We believe that tenants should not be subjected to expensive and unnecessary fees when they want to move into their next rental property. That’s why we won’t charge you a penny when you choose one of our properties as your next home.

Find out more about how Oasis Living is revolutionising the rental process by heading to our website.

Holding Deposit

Traditionally, other letting agents such as Foxtons or Dexter’s will take a holding deposit to take the property off the market and to hold in case of damages during the tenancy period. This deposit can cost you up to £700 or 1 week’s rent equivalent. They will hold onto this until the end of your contract and, once you have moved out, it will be returned to you minus any repair costs.

Oasis Living will not charge you a deposit to move in because, well frankly, we don’t need to. We use a lot of tech and AI to simplify the process and keep our operational costs low. So you can use that money towards something nice for your new home.

If you do choose to go the traditional agency route, there are a few things you should look out for:

  • View the property
  • Avoid paying cash
  • Get a receipt of the transaction
  • Ensure that you have your landlords’ details – name, phone number, email address, and home/business address.
  • Make sure that the deposit is held in a Deposit Protection Scheme

Admin Fees

Traditional agents may also tag on some ridiculous admin fee for….well we’re not really sure. For example, Foxtons will charge tenants fees up to £250 for the luxury of…. processing the paperwork?

If you choose Oasis Living, we will not charge you any admin fees. Our admin is processed by automation software. So it’s faster and cheaper to run. If you are using a traditional agent, make sure to ask them about these fees upfront so you know what to expect. A lot of agents will try and hide these fees and hope you don’t ask.

Sometimes they will also ask you to pay a renewal fee. Again, this fee is quite pricey and it’s not exactly clear what it is for. At Oasis Living we will never ask you for any renewal fees and we’ll just update your contract with the new dates and ask you to sign again. Simple and cost-effective.

Providing Tenant Referencing

Here is where things get similar. Every agent must carry out some tenant referencing. This is to make sure that you will be able to afford and pay your rent in agreement with your contract. This process will likely include:

Credit check

This checks out your credit score to make sure that there are no black marks and that your credit score is in good shape. Typically, a good credit score is around 881-960 but the average credit score in the UK is 383. Find out more about your credit score and how to improve it here.

At Oasis Living, we are working with credit checkers Experian to ensure that your monthly rent payments contribute to your credit score. So paying on time each month will help you get better finance options for credit cards, loans and more.

Written Tenant Employment Confirmation

Typically, from your line manager or another senior employee. You will need to confirm your employment. This could also include your employment contract.

Previous landlord reference

This is done to evaluate your previous behaviour at other rented properties. Did you pay rent on time? Were you in breach of contract for any reason? Were there any damages to the property? Your behaviour in your last rented home could impact your ability to rent another. Find out more about your responsibilities as a tenant

Providing a Tenant Guarantor

Should the check above show that you may struggle to pay the rent on your new home, you may be required to provide a guarantor. A guarantor is someone that is obligated to pay the rent for you if a situation arises that you are unable to pay.

This could typically be a relative such as a parent or a guardian. If you are a student, many private letting agents will ask for a guarantor so be prepared for this if you are looking to rent a place for university.

30% Rule

Keep in mind that you show not spend more than 30-40% of your income on rent. It is important to budget carefully and ensure that you can afford a place before you enquire about renting it. You don’t want to end up in a stressful financial situation just because you needed that extra bedroom. Stay within budget and make sure to consider your bills, including council tax.

Inventory Checks

An inventory check is carried out by the letting agent at the beginning of your tenancy and at its end. The purpose is to accurately document:

  • The property condition
  • The property contents and their condition

There will also be an inventory check carried out at the end of your tenancy once you have moved out. This will determine the condition of the property once you have moved out compared to when you moved in. If anything is damaged, lost, or missing from the property it will affect your deposit (if you were asked to provide one) and could be reported in your next landlord reference.

You must ensure the property is well maintained and that you are not careless with the contents. Remember, you do not own the property, but it is your responsibility to keep it within the “standard wear and tear” margin.

Standard wear and tear in a property can be different depending on the landlord or agent, but it will be explained in your contract, so it is important to read the contract carefully to understand what you are agreeing to.

To give an example; scuffs on the wall are probably fine but a hole in the plaster or a broken door hinge is probably not. The important thing is to treat your new home with respect. Most landlords understand that tenant accidents happen and as long as you report them in a proper and timely fashion, it should be absolutely fine.

Signing Your Tenancy Contract

Before you move in, you will be asked to sign an Assured Short Hold Tenancy Agreement. This contract is what binds the tenant, the agent, and the landlord into an agreement. Once you have signed this, you agree to all of the terms and clauses within it, so it’s important to read it thoroughly.

Things to look out for in your contract are as follows:

  • Names of all parties – Landlord, tenant (you)
  • Property Address
  • Start date of the tenancy
  • Duration of the tenancy
  • Rent details: the amount payable, how often it should be paid, when it should be paid.
  • Bill expectation: are bills included, if so which ones.
  • Notice period – How much time you need to give before you move out.
  • Landlord and tenant rights (such as the landlord’s responsibility to keep the property habitable, and the tenant’s responsibility to keep the place clean)

Sometimes, letting agents will ask you to sign a printed copy of the contract and deliver it to them, although many new tech-based agencies, such as Oasis Living will allow you to do this online.

Reporting Problems and Repairs

Traditional reporting of repairs and other issues will require you to message the property manager, stating what the problem is. The property manager could be either the landlord or the agency depending on the terms of the agreement.

If it is the agent, they will then need to let the landlord know if the problem requires professional help to resolve. The landlord should then arrange for someone to come and fix the issue for you.

For example, if your boiler broke down, you would let your letting agent know. They would inform the landlord who will arrange a plumber to come and fix the boiler.

Traditionally, this is a long and painful process if not managed by some or all of the parties correctly. A lot of time can be wasted to resolve issues at the property if the landlord is not getting communicated to effectively and tenants could be waiting a long time to get issues resolved.

Oasis Living has resolved this issue with our Smart Dashboard. With the Smart Dashboard, you can escalate and track repair issues in real-time. Cutting out the middleman and allowing all parties to communicate in a transparent and productive way.

This means that we can ensure that your repair is dealt with within 7 days of reporting. Simple, the way it should be!

Conclusion

We hope you have found this guide useful. If you need any more letting advice, you can visit our website to learn more, or chat with one of our experts.

At Oasis Living, we want to make the rental process easier for tenants and landlords. The current way to rent a home is massively outdated and overpriced, it’s time for renting to get real. No more fees, no more deposits, no more lack of communication and transparency. Just good tenants renting great properties.

Oasis Living
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