Our rental portfolio

At 3 Keys Property our rental portfolio comprises of hundreds of well-maintained, quality properties. As a company we are selective about the properties we choose to list and the landlords we agree to work with / for. A general rule we try to adopt when taking on new listings and marketing properties is “Would I be happy to live here myself?” – if the answer is no, we will make suggestions to the landlord as to how they can improve the property or decline to accept it to our portfolio.

If you are new to renting, we appreciate the process may be a little daunting and have put this guide together with the aim of providing a no-nonsense read covering what to expect during the stages of Viewing, Application, Tenancy and End of Tenancy.

Before we get started…

General information

As a Letting Agency, we act for hundreds of individual Landlords; whilst the Letting process is fairly standardised, our individual Clients may vary in their requirements / tenant specifications, for instance:

  • Landlords of some properties MAY consider pets, some MAY NOT.
  • Landlords of some properties MAY consider tenants who are not currently working, some MAY NOT.
  • Please be advised ALL of our properties are NON-SMOKING. You are not permitted to smoke inside any of our rentals.
  • In addition, NONE of our properties consider the ‘zero deposit’ or ‘paper bond’ scheme.

To consider applying for any of our listings you will need to be able to fund at least the first months’ rental in advance and the Security Deposit (generally equivalent to one months’ rent – although this can vary).

Subject to individual circumstances surrounding the Let, some landlords may request 2, 3 or even 6 months rental in advance. This will be discussed on an individual basis and terms negotiated ahead of the tenancy start.

Viewing

Prior to booking a viewing at any of our rental properties we are required to ‘pre-screen’ tenants; on your initial enquiry we will ask a few simple questions regarding such as: number of proposed tenants / whether you are smokers / whether you are employed / have pets etc to assess your suitability for the property. If you meet the required criteria we will proceed and schedule a viewing at a mutually convenient time.

There is generally a high demand for viewings, as such it is not uncommon for us to ‘block book’ appointments where we will book a maximum of 4-6 viewings back-to-back every 15 minutes over an hour / hour and a half period.

If you enquire after the initial slots have been booked, we will offer to take your details and place you on a waiting list, in case any of the initial viewings either do not wish to apply for the property or are not suitable.

After we have completed viewings we will revert back to the landlord and discuss with them the merits of each interested party, the landlord will then advise us who they would like us to progress an application with. We do not take multiple applications.

Application

You will receive an email from our Admin team outlining the Application Process which comprises briefly of:

  • Approving our GDPR Notice & Agreeing to our Tenant Terms of Engagement
  • Paying a Holding Deposit
  • Completing referencing online via Rent4Sure

Once your referencing has been approved and the Landlord has given permission for us to proceed, our Admin team will propose a date and time for your check-in at our office. Prior to the check-in you will receive several emails with attached tenancy related documentation, you will be asked to pay the remainder of the first months rent (2, 3 or 6 months’ rent as agreed) and the Security Deposit. At the check in you will need to bring along original ID for the Right to Rent check, review & sign the AST, Inventory & collect property keys.

Tenancy

During the term of your tenancy, you are expected to comply with the terms of your Tenancy Agreement, including but not limited to:

  • Paying your rent in full & on time
  • Not permitting any unauthorised occupants to stay at the property
  • Not keeping pets at the property without prior consent

Please ensure you read your Tenancy Agreement in full before signing. It is a legally binding document.

End of Tenancy

You are required to give a minimum of one months’ notice in writing (dated from the period of the tenancy) to end your Tenancy Agreement after the initial fixed term has expired. If you are in a fixed term and wish to vacate early, this may be considered with the landlord’s consent, however costs will be incurred – please refer to the Tenant’s Fee Schedule.
Once you have given the correct notice, you will be sent a copy of our End of Tenancy Guidance; this will advise you how to prepare a property to be handed back at the end of your tenancy. By following the guidance therein this is likely to minimise any need for the landlord to make a claim on your Security Deposit.

Please note; your Security Deposit will be protected with one of the Government Authorised Schemes – 3Keys Property use the Deposit Protection Service, and have 14 days from the day you return property keys to our office to make an application in respect of retaining or returning this deposit.

Common Misconceptions

During our years of letting properties to thousands of tenants, we have found the biggest cause of frustration generally takes root in lack of understanding or misunderstanding the lettings process & the implications thereof. We have put together a couple of example scenarios we have encountered previously with a view to presenting our perspective and legal obligations in light of these matters:

Tenant Question / Query / Belief Letting Agent Perspective
‘I’ve seen a property I want to rent; the property is empty, I have my money ready, can I collect the keys tomorrow?’ We wish you could! Unfortunately, there is a rigorous process we have to follow prior to a Tenancy commencing, in brief this comprises:

  • All tenants must be subject to full profile tenant referencing including a Right to Rent check.
  • Our Agency is obliged to ensure all checks have been completed on the rental property including gas & electrical safety, legionella risk assessment, inventory etc.
  • Our Admin team have to draft the Tenancy Agreement & prepare other tenancy related documentation including standing order mandate in the file ready to be checked & signed off before the Tenancy commences.
  • Whilst we are committed to working as quickly as possible to meet your required timescales, please be advised generally on an empty property the quickest we will be able to move from Application to Check-In is 5-7 working days.
‘I’m moving out and need my rent for the new place, can you use my Security Deposit to cover the last months’ rent?’ The Security Deposit you pay at the start of the tenancy is protected with the Deposit Protection Service throughout the term of the tenancy. The primary purpose of the Security Deposit is to protect against damages to the property.

Once possession has been returned and after the completion of a satisfactory check-out, the Landlord may be able to apply to retain all or part of the Security Deposit to off-set against rental arrears however, this is not the primary purpose of the funds protected. If you are considering moving please ensure you have budgeted adequate funds to cover your final rental payment.

It’s my house, I’m going to decorate to my taste’ At 3Keys Property, we want nothing more than for you to settle in and ‘make your home your own’ however, as per your Tenancy Agreement if you would like to make any changes to the property, cosmetic or other, whether this be hanging mirrors, wall-mounting TV’s, decorating etc – you should always seek permission in writing first. The property owner / Landlord will require you to return the property to its original condition on departure which will include removing nails, filling & sanding holes and re-decorating walls.

Some landlords can be very particular about this – especially if they have just paid to have the property decorated, and it is often one of this biggest causes of deposit disputes, so please always check

’I’m going to get a dog’ If you keep a pet at the property without the prior written consent of your Landlord you will be in breach of your Tenancy Agreement. Generally, the Landlord will not withhold permission unreasonably however they will generally insist that the Tenant accepts full responsibility for all and any damages caused as a result of keeping a pet at the property, and will request to be fully indemnified against any remedial works required such as professional carpet cleaning, renewing skirting boards / door frames from chewing / re-turfing if the grass has been damaged.
‘I’m going to get my friend to move in, it will half the rent for me’ You are not permitted to allow anybody to live at the property without the prior consent of the Landlord, if you do, you will be in breach of your Tenancy Agreement.

By law, your Agent or Landlord MUST complete a Right to Rent check on anybody residing at the property, and we must give you permission for them to live there, whether this be as a named tenant or a permitted occupier. If you wish to make changes to the occupiers on the Tenancy Agreement, this can only be done with the Landlords’ consent and there will be a charge for administering this change – please refer to our Tenant’s Fee Schedule.

‘I’m in a fixed term Tenancy Agreement for another 4 months, but I want to leave early, can I just give a months’ notice?’ Should you wish to terminate your fixed term tenancy early we will need to speak to your Landlord and obtain their consent to re-market the property with a view to securing a replacement tenant. There will be a charge as outlined in the Early Termination Section of our Tenant’s Fee Schedule, you will also be liable for the rent in full until such a point as a new tenant is placed.
‘I’m already in one of your property’s and want to move in to another of your property’s, can’t you just swap my deposit over?’ Unfortunately, your Security Deposit is non-transferrable. Whilst we look forward to welcoming you in another of our properties, regrettably the application process will be exactly as it would for any other tenant.Please be mindful that the ‘new’ property will have a totally different owner / landlord to the ‘old’ property and despite our existing agent-tenant relationship we need to be able to demonstrate that we have completed full due diligence & referencing checks for the owner / landlord of the ‘new’ property.

This includes taking a Security Deposit in full, in advance, as we would from any other tenant.

Please be assured that we will work to release your ‘old’ Security Deposit back to you as quickly as administratively possible following the end of your tenancy.

We hope this guide has been of assistance to you. Feel free to call our friendly Lettings team with any questions you may have or if you require additional clarification on any of the points raised herein 01302 867888.