All your frequently asked questions about moving house and renting out a property answered

Tenants Guide

This tenants guide will help answer many aspects of renting a property, from how to start your search, what the application process involves and what to expect during your tenancy.  In addition, take a look our list of Tenant Fees for important information and an explanation of what is included.

I need to find a place to rent. What do I do first?

Get in touch with JOHN GERMAN and tell us about the type of home you are looking for and who you will be living with. We are happy to talk you through the process of renting and register you for JG Property Alerts – keeping you up to date on new homes available matching your search criteria. You may also want to register your criteria on online property portals such as On The Market and Rightmove.

I've found a place I want to rent. Now what?

Once you’ve found a place you want to rent, you will be asked to complete a pre-application form which we will submit to the landlord (in principle) to consider. If the landlord is happy to proceed with your application you will be required to pay a holding deposit equivalent to one week’s rent. We will send you a link to complete your application online. As part of the application process, we will also need you to bring into our branch your passport, proof of address and three wage slips.

Why do I need to be referenced?

References help us to confirm your identity and verify that you can afford to pay the rent on the property.

What does referencing involve?

Credit checking and comprehensive referencing which includes speaking to your current landlord or agent and your employer.

Do I need to show ID?

Yes. We are required by law to complete “Right to Rent” checks, therefore, we need to verify your identification and whether you are a UK, EU or overseas citizen (which then we would also require copies of your visas).

What if there are problems with my reference?

We can normally overcome any problems by having an open and honest conversation. However, the final decision is always made by the landlord who will be fully informed of your situation.

What is a guarantor?

A person who is willing to guarantee the rent if you do not pay. They are also responsible for any other terms and conditions within the tenancy agreement if you do not comply with them.

What does a guarantor need to do?

They also need to complete an online application with credit checking, full referencing and ID checks.

Why does my guarantor have to guarantee all tenants?

Because all Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements are jointly and severally between the tenants. The Guarantor guarantees the tenancy regardless of how many tenants.

Why do I have to pay a deposit?

You pay the equivalent to five to six week’s rent as security against how you leave the property at the end of your tenancy.

What will happen to my deposit?

Your deposit will be held in a separate bonded clients account which is insured until the end of the tenancy and registered with The Dispute Service.

What does a Tenancy Deposit Scheme do?

If any items of dilapidation are disputed, we can put the information and evidence to The Dispute Service for them to adjudicate.

What is a tenancy agreement?

A tenancy agreement is a standard contract which lays down what the landlord is responsible for and what you are responsible for – as well as all the usual terms such as length of tenancy, rental amount etc.

What is a routine visit?

Every few months your landlord or agent will visit you at the property to check that everything is ok, that you are looking after the property and that there are no outstanding repairs or maintenance issues.

Who is responsible for repairs?

The agent or the landlord depending on the service that you are on. Ultimately though, it is the landlord’s property and therefore they have a controlling factor over what is done and by which tradesman.

Can I decorate or make changes to the property?

Only if you have your landlord’s prior consent which will not be unreasonably withheld.

What if I accidentally cause damage to the property?

Own up to it! Your landlord or the agent will be able to help you rectify or replace the item so that it doesn’t affect your deposit.

What if the landlord isn't keeping to their side of the agreement?

The landlord is governed by the law as well as the tenancy agreement. If you have any particular issues, you need to speak to the agent who will give you guidance.

When can my landlord enter the property?

Your landlord or the agent will provide you with a minimum 48 hours’ notice if they wish to gain access but if it is inconvenient, you do have the right to re-arrange the day and time.

What if I want to end the tenancy?

To end your tenancy you have to provide notice in writing in line with the relevant clause in your tenancy agreement – normally one month.

What happens if I have to leave part way through my tenancy?

You will need to pay rent until a tenant signs the new contract along with all the landlord’s lettings costs, as part of the agreement to surrender your tenancy.

What if I can't pay my rent?

If you have issues paying your rent, speak to your landlord or the agent and ask if you can negotiate a payment plan to catch up with any outstanding rent. Keep open lines of communication throughout as this may not always be possible. If you can’t afford it moving forward, the agent may be able to help you move into a cheaper home.