Information and Fees
- When you find a home you want, discuss your application with our letting team so the tenancy can be agreed with the Landlord and complete our application form.
- Each person over the age of 18 must complete their own application form
- A member of our lettings team will agree your application
- Your application is subject to the Landlord's approval, credit referencing and contract
- Our Renting FAQ explains the whole process in full detail
- Attached is the Government "How to Rent" Guide , with useful advice
- References – these may include both a credit check and personal references
- The property can only be reserved, once satisfactory references and a tenancy agreement have been drawn up, this will take the property off the market.
- D&G offer Saturday move-ins.
- Please note that while we accept online transactions, we do not accept cash.
- The ‘Check-Out’ is when you leave the property. The inventory clerk visits your home and goes through the inventory to confirm that everything is in good order. We always recommend that you are present at the Check-Out.
- We are happy to provide a reference if you decide to leave us and rent elsewhere, free of charge
Before moving into a property, reference checks are carried out for all prospective tenants. Each case is treated on an individual basis, and in all cases references are subject to Landlord approval.
The general referencing process includes 3 reference checks:
1. Landlord (if you are currently renting)
2. Credit check (if you are living in the UK)
3. Income - you will need to show a total annual income of at least 30 times the monthly rent. For example if the monthly rent is £900 you need to earn £27,000, to pass. You will need to provide contact details at your place of work to enable your company to confirm your salary.
Self Employed Income: If you are self-employed for less than 3 years, you will need a guarantor who will need to prove income of 35 times the rent. We will also require details of your accountant or P60 to confirm your annual income.
Savings Income: We are able to take savings income into account. However you must have a saved amount that is equal to 36 times the monthly rent that has been in your account for at least 6 months. If you are unable to prove income then we may ask for advance payment of rent or a Guarantor. Your Guarantor will need to prove an income of 35 times the monthly rent.
Sign Tenancy Agreement – pay first month’s rent and deposit
Once your references are received, you will need to sign the Tenancy Agreement (the legal contract between the Tenant and Landlord). The average length of a tenancy is 12 months. However, should you want a longer or shorter tenancy or have special requirements we will endeavour to negotiate between you and the landlord to reach an agreement.
Most people pay the first month’s rent and deposit together. They are due 10 working days in advance of the move-in date, payable online or by banker’s draft. As per the Housing Act 2004, all deposits and tenancy details are registered by Douglas and Simmons with the Government’s Deposit Protection Scheme (DPS). The deposit is a sum of money held by us the letting agent, on behalf of the Landlord, as security against the property being left damaged or in the event of rent not being paid. The deposit for unfurnished properties is one and a half month’s rent, for furnished properties or properties where a pet is present, it is two months’ rent. Thereafter, rent is collected by Standing Order from a UK bank account (a Standing Order automatically transfers funds from one bank account to another).
Property Management involves rent collection, regular maintenance visits, the repair of a property, furnishings and appliances within the property, and looking after those living in the home.
The Inventory is an agreed statement of everything which is in your property and what condition it was in upon the commencement of the tenancy. Each tenant needs to check that the inventory is accurate, sign one copy of it and return it to us within an agreed timescale of moving into the property. Any discrepancies should be noted and agreed with us before acceptance of the inventory within 10 days of moving into the property. Once a tenancy has begun, beyond this 10 day window, the inventory is accepted as agreed by all parties.
UK tenancy agreements work on the basis that properties need to be left by Tenants in the condition in which they were found, less reasonable wear and tear. Hence the inventory is a vital record, documenting the condition on arrival. When you move in, we give you our D&G information pack which has answers to common questions, as well as information about the property's appliances (if applicable) and utilities. If you have any further questions or should any issue arise, please contact the D&S team where a member of staff will be happy to help.
For emergencies out of hours contact - emergencies, such as flooding, call our 24-hour Emergency Helpline (details of what defines an emergency are found in the Information Pack provided upon check-in).
Offer to renew
Three months before your tenancy is due to finish, we will contact you to ask you if you intend to renew your tenancy. If you are wanting to continue your tenancy, then we will contact the Landlord to review this. Subject to their instruction, we will draw up a new Tenancy Agreement which will be charged to you at £70.00 + VAT (£84.00).
Ending the tenancy early
Government guidance on early termination states that “A landlord or agent can require a tenant to make payments in connection with the early termination of the tenancy where the tenant has requested this, but there are restrictions on what can be charged. Generally, the costs charged for early termination must not exceed the loss incurred by the landlord (usually the loss in rent resulting from a tenant’s decision to leave and/or the costs of re-advertising or referencing), or the reasonable costs to the agent (such as referencing and marketing costs
At the end of your tenancy, should you decide to vacate the property, a ‘check out’ will be undertaken when you leave the property. As noted above, the inventory clerk visits your home and goes through the inventory to confirm that everything is in good order. We always recommend that you are present at the Check-Out.
To help make the process as easy as possible, ahead of this check-out, we can organise professional cleaners if required at a reasonable charge - we find that over 60% of tenants now use this service.
If there are no deductions from the deposit for damages following the ‘check-out’, including dilapidations or further cleaning required, we endeavour to return the deposit lodged at the start of the tenancy, within 10 days of the final day of the tenancy.
"Douglas and Simmons have been very helpful to us; in our case we were buyers and they supported us for a good 3 months while solicitors sorted things out. They were always approachable and happy to talk to us and helped explain what solicitors were doing, which was very useful. They obviously work as a team and if we ever sell our lovely home we will definitely use them."