The Renting Process – a helpful guide

You’ve completed your research; your finances are in order and you’ve viewed various properties and found the one that’s right for you! Great news – but what happens next? Here’s a step by step guide with everything you need to know about the renting process…

Securing a property

To secure a rental property you will need to pay a holding fee by debit card, which will be the equivalent of one week’s rent. This amount will be deducted from the balance due for the final deposit. Additionally, we will ask you to sign a letter (either electronically or in person) confirming the way in which we accept your holding fee.

Please note: it is possible the holding fee will not be returned under certain circumstances, including failure to pass the Right to Rent check, providing incorrect or misleading information or deciding not to proceed with the tenancy, for whatever reason. If the holding fee is forfeited due to any of these reasons, we will confirm in writing and the fee will not be returned.

At this stage we will also require proof of ID (passport or national identity card) and proof of current address (utility bill or credit card statement dated within the previous 3 months) to ensure all the personal information we have about you is accurate. We will also ask you to let us know the date you would ideally like to move (subject to referencing and contract) and how long you would like the tenancy to last.

The referencing process

Once you have secured the property, and subject to the landlord’s prior instruction, we will email you a link (or provide application forms) so the referencing process can begin. The referencing company will request information from each applicant/ guarantor so they can:

  • Perform full credit checks
  • Contact landlord(s) and/or employer(s) for references
  • Verify employment/finances
  • Carry out the Right to Rent in the UK check

Do you need a guarantor?

If your circumstances match any of those listed below, you may need a UK home owning guarantor who earns three times the rent (before tax):

  • You are 21 or younger
  • Your household earns less than 2.5 times the rent (before tax)
  • You are in temporary or contract based employment n you are currently in a probationary period at your work
  • You are claiming any form of benefits
  • Your credit score is low

Guarantors are required to sign a deed that makes them responsible for any rent, damage or legal fees that are not paid for by the tenants. Remember to talk to us about your individual situation as we may be able to help.

Finalising the agreement

Once satisfactory references have been received and all checks have been made, you will be advised how to make your final payment to commence the tenancy. This payment will consist of:

  • The first month’s rent
  • A deposit equivalent to 5 weeks’ worth of rent.

Your holding fee will be deducted from this final balance. Payment needs to reach our account by bank transfer at least 48 hours prior to your check-in date so that our accounts team can reconcile the money. We do not accept card, cash or personal cheques for the final balance due to insurance / money laundering reasons.

At this stage you will also be invited to sign your tenancy agreement, either electronically by DocuSign or as a hard copy in person at our offices.

Taken as seen

All of our properties are ‘taken as seen’, meaning that once you pay a holding fee to secure it, you are agreeing to rent the property in the condition you viewed it in – excluding the owner/ tenant’s belongings and any exceptional clauses in the property advert. If you have any specific requirements, it is crucial these are agreed, and preferably memorialised in writing, prior to paying the holding fee, so they form part of the agreement between you and the landlord.

Moving day

On the day you are due to move in, we will ask you to come to our offices to collect the keys, bringing your ID with you to do so. Prior to releasing the keys, we will confirm we have all the necessary information on file, including a copy of your ID, your Proof of Residency and your signed tenancy agreement and we’ll ask you to sign a letter to confirm we have provided you with all the important documentation – this will then complete the check-in process.

Upon check-in, details will be provided so you can set up a standing order for your rent payments. We will also provide you with, and ask you to check, the inventory and return it to us within 7 days of the commencement of your tenancy. This is usually sent to you electronically, so you can add comments to it and return it to us online.


Things to remember

No doubt you will have a lot to think about when you move, so here’s a handy list of all those things you will (probably) need to do within the first few days:

  • Set up a standing order for your rent payments
  • Check the inventory, make any comments and return it to us online – within 7 days of check-in
  • Consider purchasing contents insurance – we recommend you purchase insurance to protect your belongings
  • Change your address by informing the following companies / providers, usually online or by phone:
    • Government bodies
      • HMRC
      • Your local authority – so you can settle your previous Council Tax bill and set up the new one
      • DVLA (Driving Licence) – remember you can be fined up to £1000 if you don’t renew your driving licence address!
      • Electoral roll
      • TV Licensing
    • Financial institutions
      • Banking and savings account providers
      • Credit card companies
      • Pension services
      • Store loyalty card providers
    • Insurance providers
      • Home insurance
      • Car insurance (plus any breakdown service provider)
      • Mobile phone insurance
      • Life insurance
      • Pet insurance
      • Health insurance
    • Utility suppliers
      • Gas provider
      • Electricity provider
      • Water supplier
    • Regular bills
      • Home phone
      • TV and broadband suppliers
      • Mobile phone
    •  Miscellaneous
      • Your employer
      • Schools / colleges
      • Health care providers such as doctors and dentists
      • Clubs, including sports teams and gyms
      • Subscriptions for newspapers, magazines, newsletters
      • Any charities you support

To make this process a little easier, Royal Mail can also set up a temporary mail redirection to your new address for three, six or 12 months after moving if you feel this is necessary – guaranteed there will be something you miss!


Renting a new home is a very personal journey and with our help and support you’ll be on your way to making that property dream, a reality. If you have any questions, we are very happy to help, please visit or call your local Michael Jones office or contact us here.

Other blogs that may be of interest, include:

Content accurate at time of publishing.

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