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Tenants’ guide to renting a property

We are proud to be a Propertymark approved letting agent, so you can be sure of best practice when you rent with us, including helpful advice and transparency of charges.

If you have rented a property before, you may already be aware of many of the procedures involved, but for those who have not, we hope you will find this checklist useful.

Fixing a budget

When working out your budget, be mindful that letting agents will have strict affordability guidelines they must stick to as part of their referencing process. The way rent affordability is calculated can differ from agent to agent, but it is usually based on a percentage of your yearly salary. Commission or overtime are not generally counted in these calculations but, in certain circumstances, savings can be. Use our Affordability Calculator to check whether your budget meets our criteria.

 When deciding how much to spend on renting a property, it is important to budget for bills as well as rent – council tax, contents insurance, utilities, cable subscription, travel and parking costs should all be considered, for example. 

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Working out your requirements

Consider the essential factors for your next home, including the type of property and location, as well as details about who will be living there. Considerations should include: 

  • What sort of location you are looking for (town, rural, close to schools, close to transport, close to shops, close to countryside, for example – take a look at our Area Guides for a rundown of some of the towns and villages we cover). 
  • How many bedrooms, living rooms and bathrooms you require. 
  • Whether you require a furnished or unfurnished property, or whether you are flexible. 
  • Who will be living at the property, including ages of any children. 
  • If you have any pets you want to be able to have in the property. 
  • How long you are looking to rent for. 
  • If there is a specific date you need to move in by, or to wait for? 
  • If there is adverse credit history that may apply to anyone intending to live at the property

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Viewing properties

  • When viewing, take a notepad and write down any questions you may have. This will also help you to remember what you have seen and not to confuse one property with another – it is easily done!
  • Ask as many questions as come to mind about fixtures and fittings, the neighbourhood, the landlords, etc. 
  • Make time to view when suitable properties become available – the rental market in Berkhamsted and Tring is fast moving, so make viewing times a priority.
  • Stay in the neighbourhood after looking at properties and soak up the atmosphere, or go and explore the local amenities.
  • If you are moving to an area you are unfamiliar with, take a dummy-run of any commute or regular journey you will be making. 

Applying for a tenancy

  • All offers should be made through the letting agent.
  • Submit full details of all tenants to be included in the rental contract.
  • Mention any fixtures or fittings you would like included.
  • Provide a proposed moving in date and length of tenancy.
  • Provide details of any children and pets who will be living at the property with you.
  • Provide two forms of ID for all tenants and any guarantors (your passport plus a recent utility bill or bank statement no more than 3 months old).
  • Complete tenancy application forms.
  • Remember, any offer is subject to satisfactory references being received and a tenancy agreement being completed.

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Signing the tenancy agreement

  • We will provide three identical copies of the tenancy agreement, which we ask you to read carefully, then sign and return to us.
  • Ask immediately – and before you sign – if you are unsure about anything in the tenancy agreement. Remember, the agreement is a formal document that legally binds you to its terms.
  • Transfer your first rental payment and security deposit.
  • Arrange a time to take possession of the property.

Moving day

Moving day will be busy, so make a checklist of jobs that need to be completed before and on the day, including:

  • Book a removals firm.
  • Redirect your post.
  • Tell your friends and family where you’re going.
  • Read the meters and inform utility companies of opening meter readings.
  • Cancel any services or subscriptions (internet, cable TV, contents insurance, etc) at your old address and set up new ones at your new home.
  • Change the address on your TV License.
  • Inform the relevant local authorities that you’re moving for Council Tax purposes.


The asking prices of rents do not include utilities (ie. gas, electric, water, council tax, TV licence, telephone or internet charges).

Tenant Fees

New Assured Shorthold Tenancies (AST’s) signed on or after 1 June 2019

Holding deposit

Per Tenancy
One week’s rent
This is to reserve a property.  Please note this will be withheld if any relevant person (including any guarantor) withdraws from the tenancy, fails a Right to Rent check, provides materially significant false or misleading information, or fails to sign their tenancy agreement (and/or deed of guarantor) within 15 calendar days (or other deadline for agreement as mutually agreed in writing).

Security deposit

Per tenancy - where rent is less than £50,000 pa
Five weeks’ rent
This covers damages or defaults on the part of the tenant during the tenancy.

Security deposit

Per tenancy – where rent is more than £50,000 pa
Six weeks’ rent
This covers damages or defaults on the part of the tenant during the tenancy.

Unpaid rent

Interest at 3% above the Bank of England Base Rate from the rent due date until paid in order to pursue non-payment of rent.  Please note this will not be levied until the rent is more than 14 days in arrears.

Lost keys or other security devices

Tenants are liable to the actual cost of replacing any lost key(s) or other security device(s).  If the loss results in locks needing to be changed, the actual cost of a locksmith, new lock and replacement keys for the tenant, landlord and any other persons requiring keys will be charged to the tenant.  If extra costs are incurred there will be a charge of £15 per hour (inc VAT) for the time taken replacing the lost key(s) or other security device(s).

Variation of contract

Tenant’s request
£50 (inc VAT) per agreed variation.
To cover the costs associated with taking landlords instructions as well as the preparation and execution of new legal documents.

Change of sharer

Tenant’s request
£50 (inc VAT) per replacement tenant or any reasonable cost incurred if higher.
To cover the costs associated with taking landlords instructions, new tenant referencing and Right to Rent checks, deposit registration as well as the preparation and execution of new legal documents

Early termination

Tenant’s request
Should the tenant wish to leave their contract early, they shall be liable to the landlord’s costs in re-letting the property as well as all the rent due under the tenancy until the start date of the replacement tenancy.   These costs will be no more than the maximum amount of rent outstanding on the tenancy.