Tenants Guide

Looking for a property can not only be stressful, it can also be time consuming and costly. We at Griffin Stevens have tried to ensure our tenants do not pay premiums just to get the right home. We want our charges to be straightforward and fair and they are lower than most of our competitors; we charge a reasonable administration fee, which includes the tenancy agreement and most of the other fees are at cost.

We want to help make this a pleasurable and stress free experience. Here are a few things that could help speed up the process up:

  • Think about your basic requirements. This will help you narrow down exactly what you are looking for in a property and help us find it. Consider: budget, the style, size, location, local amenities, schools and transport links. Ensure you also take into account that most rental properties are exclusive of all utilities and council tax unless otherwise stated, it is helpful to factor these costs into your budget.

  • Placing an offer once you have found - You may be asked to pay a preliminary deposit which shows your intent and moves you to the next stage. We ask for one weeks rental which will be taken into account and deducted from the total you will need pay before you move in. If you were to not able to proceed with the offer of the tenancy (if your references were unsatisfactory for example) most companies would not refund your deposit, however, if this was the case, we would only retain the administration charge and reference costs.

  • References - be prepared to have references carried out on all tenants or guarantors over the age of 18. It would be a great idea to make your referees aware that they will be contacted. This will help move this process forward quickly. References may include credit checks, previous landlord reference, employment reference, accountants reference and bank references. Griffin Stevens has a third party external company that carry these out.

  • Identification – you will be required to provide various forms of identification for money laundering and proof of residency. One proof with photo identification ( passport, driving license etc.) and two utility letters dated within the last 3 months. A copy of your UK Work Permit and/or UK VISA will be required if you are a non EU National. If you are unsure what other documents you need to provide, please just call us and ask.

  • Tenancy Agreement – this is a legally binding agreement between tenant and landlord. The most common tenancy agreement is an AST (assured shorthold tenancy). All types of agreement used for renting a property set out the rights and responsibilities the landlord and tenants have to each other and to the property. Also note that all persons over the age of 18 must be named on the tenancy agreement.

  • Deposit – you will be asked to pay a deposit, usually 5 weeks rent (if you have an animal, landlords normally request 8 weeks) to be held by the letting agent or landlord (if registered with a deposit scheme) which is held as a security in case a tenant does not comply with their obligations. Griffin Stevens would normally hold the deposit as stakeholders and are members of the TDS (Tenancy Deposit Scheme) The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) is run by The Dispute Service Ltd. It is an insurance backed tenancy deposit protection scheme approved by the Government. Please ask for more information on this if required.

  • Inventory check in and check out – An inventory is a legally binding document that records the condition and contents of the property at the start and end of the tenancy. This includes furniture, décor, fixtures and fittings, gardens or outside space. We use an external company, we only work with inventory companies in whom we have confidence, trust and who are fairly priced. Also good to remember, if the property was professionally cleaned at the start of your tenancy, you would be required to do this at the end of the tenancy.

  • Move in monies – these will normally be asked for once you have signed the tenancy agreement and completed the other processes. Please note move in monies have to be paid before the start of any tenancy. For a typical tenancy with Griffin Stevens you will be asked to pay the following; the first month’s rental in advance, six week’s deposit, referencing fee, administration charge, inventory check in fee and the TDS (Tenancy Deposit Scheme) fee.

We try to work to a 5 to 7 day turnaround to add peace of mind to both Landlords and tenants. This is why we ask all tenants to act swiftly. Once an offer has been accepted there will be no more viewings carried out for 7 days (unless instructed otherwise by the landlord); this is to allow all checks, monies to be paid and the tenancy agreement to be signed. If the process is not completed in this timeframe, viewings will normally recommence.

There are many factors to consider when renting and this has only covered some of them so If you would like further information, then please do contact us on 020 8979 1597

"Absolutely first class, diligent, professional service. Did a great job selling our home and were great value for money. I would very strongly recommend giving them a call and getting a quote."
Gavin Hayman