>Renting a property in London

1.    How do I start looking for a place to rent?
The best way to start looking is to browse our website, and search for a property using your requirements as the search entries. Alternatively, you could give us a call on 0207 493 6969 or email us at lets@osullivanproperty.co.uk, and we will do our best to find a property for you. In the event that we do not have the property you are looking for, we can search on your behalf through our network of estate agents we work with at no extra cost to you.

2.    How soon do I start looking for a property?
The ideal time to start searching is 2 -3 weeks before you intend to move in. The property market in London is very fast, and places usually do not stay around for a long time. Landlords are reluctant to hold a property for over 2 weeks.

3.    How do I arrange to see the property?
If you like to view a property, please let us know by calling us on 0207 493 6969, or sending us an email. We will endeavour to show you the property at your convenience as soon as possible. We can also accommodate viewings out of normal office hours. Please call us to enquire.

4.    What happens after I viewed a property that I like?
If you like a property after viewing it, it is advisable to put in an offer as soon as possible, as other people might be viewing that property on the same day too. A holding deposit equivalent to 1 week’s rent would be required to secure the property for you and take it off the market.

5.    Do I have to provide references?
Yes. References are compulsory so that we can find out more background information about you. We use an independent referencing agency called MARAS. The cost of this service is £20. If you are a student then you will normally be required to pay your rent in advance unless you have a UK guarantor.

6.    Do I have to sign an agreement?
An agreement between you and the landlord will be drafted by our solicitor, and this must be signed. Usually this is a 12 month contract with an optional “break clause” if required. A tenancy fee is payable by the tenant.

7.    Does everyone living in the new property have to sign the agreement?
Each tenant has to individually sign the agreement in order to be legally bound by it.

8.    Do I have to pay a deposit?
Yes, a security deposit of 6 weeks rent is required, and this is released back to you at the end of tenancy. As of April 2007, all deposits will be required by law to be placed in a Deposit Protection Service (DPS). Please visit www.depositprotection.com for more information.

9.    Is any advance rent required?
Normally, rent is payable one month in advance unless otherwise as stated in your Tenancy Agreement.

10.    When can I move in?
When the references are cleared, the agreement has been signed, and the deposit and advance rent have reached our account as cleared funds, the tenancy begins.

11.    What happens next?
You are provided with copies of all the paperwork, and the keys to the property. You are free to move in as you wish.

12.    What happens at the end of tenancy?
Subject to the terms of the Tenancy Agreement, normally 8 weeks notice to vacate is required to be given to the landlord. At the end of tenancy, the property must be left in the original condition, and a check out inventory completed by a third party makes note of any changes or damage that has occurred. You must move out by the date stated in the contract. The keys are then returned to us, and the deposit will be released by the Deposit Protection Service (DPS) less any deductions where necessary.

13.    What are the tenant’s responsibilities during the tenancy?
Tenants are responsible to pay all standing charges in connection with water, gas, electricity and pay all charges for all gas fuel oil and electric light and power which shall be consumed or supplied on or to the Property during the tenancy and all charges in respect of any telephone, satellite and cable TV installed on the premises as well as the TV-license fee and council tax.

14.    Are pets allowed at the property?
Tenants have to seek approval from the landlord (and management companies in some cases) before the start of the tenancy, only then they will be allowed to keep pets once permission is granted.

15.    Can the tenant us the premises as a business address? 
Tenants must not use the premises for any business purposes. To run a business in the UK, you will be required to obtain the council's permission appropriately, in accordance with the nature of the business.

16.    Can I sublet the property?
Subletting is strictly prohibited! Tenants should only use the property for their occupation and their immediate family, tenants are strictly prohibited to use the premises for any illegal, immoral, or improper use.

17.    Can I make changes to the property?
Tenants must get written confirmation from the landlord before Decorating or making any alterations in or additions to the premises. Tenants are allowed to put up posters and paintings as long as the premises are returned in the same condition as it was given to the tenants.