Bonds let and manage a variety of furnished and unfurnished properties throughout Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire in some of the most desirable towns and villages within the home counties.
We've provided a quick and easy guide to renting in order to make house hunting an enjoyable and stress-free experience. Please note: the guide may vary due to individual tenant circumstances.
As members of the ARLA Propertymark, Property Ombudsman, Safe Agent, Client Money Protection, and with all deposit registered with TDS - our tenants can rest assure that their renting needs and requirements are taken care of in a professional and appropriate manner.
It is a simple and easy to find a rental property that meets your needs. We advise taking the time to ask yourself some key questions in regards to exactly what you are looking for before you start booking viewing appointments. This will help narrow down the options more efficiently.
We recommend to consider the following three key points before getting started on your property search:
- Price – how much can you afford to spend per month/week?
- Location – where do you want to live? Do you need to be near any particular transport links?
- Size – how many bedrooms do you want? Do you want to furnish the property yourself or have it already furnished?
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VIEWINGS 8AM – 8PM
Having seen your ideal property online, it is now time to arrange a viewing. It is essential that either yourself or an associated party view the property on your behalf.
We offer a unique and flexible accompanied viewing window through our 8am – 8pm viewing times. Many tenants require flexibility to view potential properties before, after work and around other commitments. We are able to offer accompanied viewings 12 hours a day.
Once we have found your suitable property, you will be in a position to make an offer to the landlord for their consideration. Please note that any offer you make would be subject to you fulfilling our reference criteria.
We recommend to consider the following key points which will form part of your tenant application:
1. Price - consider what is the best price you can pay.
2. Start date - if you’re able to move in on, or very close to, the available date and reduce the potential void period for the landlord.
3. Tenancy length - can be a significant point of benefit for example - offering a long-term commitment, say of two or three years, so as to avoid the pressure of re-marketing.
4. Upfront payments – if you are able to pay more rent in advance (say, an additional month) this would help cover the landlord’s upfront costs.
HOW MUCH DO I NEED TO EARN TO BE CONSIDERED FOR THE PROPERTY?
Having passed all the referencing criteria to be considered for the property and, subject to the Landlord’s decision, you must earn at least 1.5 times the yearly rent (however, you will require a guarantor) or at least 2.5 times the yearly rent (you will qualify on the income part of the referencing without a guarantor).
AGREEING THE LET
At this point, you will be requested to provide an Application Fee and Holding fee which secures the property for you subject to contract and references. These fees are non-refundable should you decide to pull out of the application or change your mind.
Please also consider should your references prove unsatisfactory, the holding fee / application fee would be non-refundable.
As soon as your offer has been accepted by the Landlord, we will apply for references and draw up the relevant documentation which will form the basis of the agreement between you and the Landlord. You will receive written confirm of your acceptance and you will be provided with the next steps.
WHAT WILL I BE EXPECTED TO PROVIDE?
ID AND PROOF OF ADDRESS
You will be expected to provide photo ID and proof of your current address. We will need two separate documents from the list below. You may also be required to provide proof of VISA or further documentation. To find out more please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Driving License and/or Passport
Proof of Address
Utility bill (current within 3 months) and/or mobile phone bill or bank statement.
Please consider a range of checks and references on all prospective tenants will be carried out and we will require at least 6 weeks rent as a deposit with one month’s rent paid in advance. Should you feel uncertain as to your suitability or have specific requirements, please contact us and we will be happy to help.
We will contact your employer for information regarding your employment status. If you are currently in rented accommodation, your landlord will be contacted regarding your current tenancy information. If you are self-employed, we will need to contact your accountant and/or be provided with proof of bank statements identifying income. A credit check will also be conducted for all individuals concerned.
To assist us in collating the necessary references, it would be advantageous for the tenants to warn the above referees in advance. This will enable the information to be returned within a quick time scale.
DO I NEED A GUARANTOR?
Occasionally, a guarantor will be required. You will be informed at application stage if this requirement is needed, and an additional guarantor application form will be provided for them to complete.
Please note: the same criteria will apply to the guarantor and, furthermore, the guarantor must earn the equivalent of 3 times the yearly sum of the rent, be in full time employment or be able to prove via bank statements, that they have “independent means”. A guarantor must be a UK resident.
The guarantor must be aware that they will act as a guarantor for you, (and your partner/housemate if you are moving in to the property with another individual), for the entire occupancy of the property, not just for the period of the initial tenancy term.
An electronic draft copy of the tenancy agreement will be emailed when all references have been received and all ID has been provided. We strongly recommend you read the full agreement and are aware of your contractual obligations.
RENT AND DEPOSIT
You will be required to provide the agreed sum of rent and deposit before taking possession of the property.
The deposit is required for the full tenancy against loss, damage or charges payable at the termination of the tenancy. This is usually the equivalent of 6 weeks rent but this may vary, therefore we suggest that the actual amount is verified via the property description as found on our lettings list and within your acceptance letter. The deposit will be held by Bonds in their designated clients’ account and is fully registered with the TDS.
Your deposit is returnable in full at the end of the tenancy, subject to final inspection of the property. Deductions will be made for cleaning should the property and garden areas not have been left in a satisfactory condition as noted on your check-in inventory.
Rent is to be paid monthly in advance commencing on the first day of the tenancy and then on the same day each month thereafter. The preferred method is by bank standing order.
Single Application Fee - £120 (£100 + vat)
Joint Application Fee - £240 (£200 + vat)
Additional Applicant Fee - £120 (£100 + vat)
Renewal Fee - £90 (£75 + vat)
Company Application Fee - £420 (£350 + vat)
Tenant Check Out Fee - £60 (£50 + vat)
Guarantor Fee - £120 (£120 + vat)
If a tenancy is refused on the grounds of references, or if you withdraw from taking the property all fees are non-refundable.
Please note that all outstanding payments are to be received in cleared funds prior to signing the tenancy agreement and before occupation. Payments should be made by banker’s draft, online transfer or debit / credit card. Please note additional charges applies for credit cards.
CHECK IN AND CONDITION REPORT
If we have been instructed by the landlord, a condition report along with a full detailed inventory will be prepared and provided for you on your tenancy commencement date.
All tenants are expected to read through the inventory and confirm the condition, as written in the document. It is advised that this takes place prior to moving your belongs into the property. Here is your opportunity to detail any discrepancies you feel will impact your check out report upon vacating.
Please note a signed copy must be returned to our office within 3 working days of moving in.
OTHER POINTS OF INTEREST:
- The Tenant will be responsible for insuring their own possessions.
- The Tenant will take over all utilities such as gas, electricity, water/sewage charges, council tax & telephone upon moving into the property and will be responsible for contacting the relevant suppliers accordingly prior to commencement of the tenancy.
- The landlord is responsible for any repair/maintenance problems to appliances etc. The tenant is responsible for any breakages which should be reported immediately.
- Decoration of the property must only be done with your Landlord’s permission.
- No pets are allowed unless the Landlord has given consent.
- Reasonable notice should be given in the event that the Letting Agent or Landlord wishes to inspect the property outside pre-agreed times. It is usual for the Agent to inspect the property at least twice during the term of your Tenancy and the Tenancy Agreement should cover this eventuality.
- Lets are for 12 months, although some Landlords may consider shorter terms of say 6 months.
- Should you wish to quit your Tenancy earlier than the agreed term, you will be liable for all rent until the end of the agreed Tenancy. However, it may be worth considering negotiating a BREAK CLAUSE with the Landlord which, for example, could entitle you to give notice after 4 months.
In this case, you would only be liable for the rent for the notice period of 2 months, releasing you from the remaining 6 months of a 12-month Tenancy.
- In most cases, the deposit will be returned once any damages are ascertained by the Tenant/Landlord/Inventory Clerk and appropriate deductions agreed if any.
- The most common type of Tenancy Agreement is the assured short hold used for 6-12 month lets and usually takes the form of a standard contract between both parties.
However, should any “extras” be agreed such as certain furnishings to be provided by the Landlord, you should ask that an extra clause be added to the agreement to this effect. It should be noted that the landlord is not obliged to carry out promises so it is important that your requests are documented.
- The Letting Agents will deal with the property viewings, references, agreements and getting you moved in. If the agent has been instructed to manage the property, then you will normally report any repairs or queries to them. If not, then you will deal directly with the Landlord.
- The Letting Agent, whilst acting for the Landlord, operates within accepted guidelines in the industry to ensure that you are able to rely on a professional letting agent taking your concerns seriously and advising the Landlord if they are being unreasonable. In this regard, you should be assured that the property conforms to all safety regulations and is fairly priced.