From your initial telephone call, whether you want us to help you find a property to rent or you’ve already seen one you like, right through to the day you leave the property, our dedicated team is on hand to make the entire process as smooth as possible for you.
Finding a property to rent
There are many things to consider when looking for student accommodation or a private rental in Cirencester.
- What’s your budget? Don’t forget to include utilities and household bills in this.
- Where do you want to live? Think about how close you want to be to amenities and, if you’re a student, the Royal Agricultural University.
- Have you already got a group of housemates? If you’re doing a house share, a group size suitable for the property will be considered first, although you can use our message board to find other people looking.
It’s worth noting that properties get snapped up quickly, particularly with student lettings. Some tenants sign up before Christmas for the following September, so it’s never too early to start looking!
Arranging a viewing
When you’ve found a property you like, give us a call on 01285 898505 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll arrange a viewing. Please bear in mind we have to give any current tenants 24-hours’ notice.
We’ll send you an email to confirm details of the viewing and the postcode of the property.
At the viewing, please ask any questions you have, whether about the property or renting through us.
We’ll usually be in touch the day after the viewing to find out what you thought, and get any feedback – good or bad.
Applying for a property
Once you want to go ahead and apply for a property, we’ll start the process of your application.
We’ll send the lead tenant an email asking for tenant and guarantor (if required) details. The lead tenant is usually the person who arranges the viewing.
Once we have these details, we’ll send our Pre-Booked Tenant letter, giving you key information and your responsibilities under the Tenancy Agreement. This letter tells you the ID we need, as per the Government Right to Rent guidelines, how to pay the administration fee and reservation fee and what we need in terms of references. It also includes general information relating to the tenancy. Click here for full details of fees. Tenant Terms of Business
When the fees have cleared, we’ll send out the Tenant Terms of Business and the Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) for electronic signing. We’ll also send the Deed of Guarantee to any guarantor, which explains their responsibilities and can also be electronically signed.
You must pay the deposit within one week of signing the AST. Your deposit will be held by the Deposit Protection Service (DPS). www.depositprotection.com.
When all of the documents are signed by the landlord and tenants and returned, and the deposit is paid and cleared, the property is secured.
Moving into the property
You can collect your keys at your check-in appointment with a member of our team. If you’re moving into student accommodation we recommend you arrange this appointment well in advance, as almost all students are working to the same time frame and we get very busy.
At the start of your tenancy, we’ll take meter readings and contact all the relevant utility companies. If you wish to change providers, you can. You’ll need to arrange your own TV Licence, telephone, and broadband. If you want us to set up WiFi ready for your moving-in date, we can do this for an additional monthly charge.
You should carefully check the Schedule of Condition and Inventory, which we’ll give you a few days before you move in. If you want to make any amendments you have 14 days from the first tenant checking in to do so.
Living in the property
Your full responsibilities and obligations are set out in your Tenancy Agreement, which you should abide by at all times while you’re living in the property. These include paying your rent, and paying it on time, keeping the property clean and tidy (if you’d like to find out about having the property regularly cleaned or the garden maintained, just let us know), not making any changes to the property without permission and no disruptive behaviour, excessive noise, etc.
You should report any problems to us as soon as possible. In the event of an urgent matter, we offer a 24/7 telephone service.
We’ll make regular visits during your tenancy, to make sure you’re keeping the property in good order. The first inspection will usually be four to six weeks after you move in. These visits are a good opportunity to identify and address any concerns that may affect the return of your deposit when you move out.
Damp, mould and condensation
It’s important to take measures to reduce the risk of damp in the property, which is usually caused by condensation and can cause mould to grow and wood to rot. There are a few simple things you can do:
- Wipe down windows and sills each morning.
- Cover pans while cooking.
- Don’t dry washing on radiators, dry it outside or in the bathroom with the door closed and window open.
- As much as possible keep some windows open slightly, particularly if you’re cooking, washing up, bathing or showering.
- In cold weather, keep the heating on low all day.
- In a new build, use a dehumidifier to dry out damp.
In the case of mould in the property, kill and remove it by using a fungicidal wash. If it’s treated properly, it shouldn’t reappear.
This is a disease caught by inhaling small droplets of stale or stagnant water. While it’s very rare in a property where people are living permanently, it’s worth knowing, and managing the risks.
- If the hot water system isn’t working, let us know straight away. Make sure the stored water is above 60 Celsius (this isn’t applicable to combination boilers).
- Clean and disinfect showerheads regularly.
- If you’re away from the property for any period of time, such as on holiday, flush the system through when you get back, by running taps, showers and flushing the toilet, etc.
The landlord will let us know if there are any asbestos fixtures or fittings at the property and this will be detailed in your Tenancy Agreement. If the asbestos is disturbed in any way, it’s your responsibility to let us know.
Moving out of the property
When you move out, refer back to the inventory to make sure you leave the property in good condition, and so long as it is returned in the condition you received it in you will have your full deposit back.
- Thoroughly clean the property, including carpets, windows, walls and any furniture.
- Tidy the garden and cut the grass.
- Remove all your personal belongings.
- Return the keys to us.
A couple of months before your tenancy ends we’ll send you a useful guide covering all aspects of leaving the property.
As long as your deposit isn’t in dispute, it will be refunded within 10 working days of your end of tenancy date, via the DPS website.
Of course, you may want to stay at the property for another year, at which point we’ll negotiate the terms of the extension with you and the landlord. In the case of student accommodation, please let us know well in advance if you want to renew your tenancy, as viewings usually take place around November, for the following September.