Whether you are viewing a house or an apartment to rent in the Medway areas, it could be your home for the foreseeable future, so be prepared and make a logical decision. At Dockside, we pride ourselves in having not only good, reputable Landlords; but supplying quality properties. Our motto is quite clear, “if we wouldn’t live there ourselves, then we will definitely not let someone else live there”.
Obviously, everyone’s priorities will vary depending on what area you are looking at. Ensure the property is what you are looking for before you commit. Also be prepared to act quickly. The rental market in Rochester, Gillingham, Chatham and other surrounding Medway areas is fast moving. If you see a property that fulfills all of your requirements; the best thing to do is to secure it with a good will deposit promptly.
Dockside ask a variety of questions regarding your employment and living status, and credit history. This is to identity if there are other reasons as to why you would not pass the credit referencing. We do not want a tenant to lose a good will gesture, which is why we require all the information prior to viewing. We accompany all viewings, and carry out appointments 7 days a week including evenings and bank holidays. We do take security very seriously, and will make contact prior to attending the appointment. During the viewing, we will show you the property and go through any questions you may have. We understand there is a lot to take in; therefore we will provide you with a tenants guide if you wish to proceed covering any questions you may have along with breakdown of monies.
What Happens Now?
Once you have decided you wish to proceed with the property, the following steps must be completed in order:
- You will be sent a copy of the holding deposit form for you to review and complete, along with a copy of our draft tenancy agreement.
- We will take payment of one week of the agreed rent, to be used as your “holding deposit”; once we are in receipt of the monies the offer will be put forward to the Landlord. The holding deposit will be deducted from the first months rental payment.
- Subject to the Landlord accepting your offer and terms, it will result in the property being taken off the market subject to contract and references.
- You will be sent a link for your Goodlord account where you will be requested to sign the offer letter, tenants guide and complete your references. You must complete the referencing forms in full, providing your bank details on the notes section in order to complete a bank validation check; any missing information will only delay the referencing process.
- We must receive a certified copy of your photo ID, passport, brb card etc and two proofs of residency being a bank statement or utility bill dated within the last three months for each tenant, guarantor or permitted occupier. You will need to bring your original ID to the office in person and we will take copies. Please note we do not accept mobile phone bills.
- Subject to reference approval, we will produce the legal documentation and payment mandate.
- You must make payment of the initial monies to include the first month’s rent payment and the five weeks deposit.
- You must complete the legal documentation and complete the standing order mandate.
BEFORE THE CHECK IN CAN BE CONFIRMED, ALL OF THE ABOVE STEPS MUST BE COMPLETED.
Once you make an offer on a property it will be put to the Landlord. The offer will have several components, such as the monthly rent, moving-in date, the length of the tenancy, break clause and any other requirements you may have. As the Landlords’ acceptance of any offer is dependent not merely on price, it is crucial at this stage that all elements of your offer are put forward.
At the point you make your offer we will ask you for a “holding” deposit in cleared funds. We will issue a receipt. Upon receipt of satisfactory references (for each applicant and guarantor) the remaining balance will be deducted from the first month’s rent.
If we are unable to get your offer accepted by the landlord your deposit will be fully refunded.
Once we have your holding deposit, current legislation stipulates that the necessary paperwork should be completed within 15 days or such longer period as might be agreed. If at any time during that extended period you decide not to proceed with the tenancy, then your holding deposit will be retained by our firm. By the same token, if during that period you unreasonably delay in responding to any reasonable request made by our firm, and if it turns out that you have provided us with false or misleading information as part of your tenancy application or if you fail any of the checks which the Landlord is required to undertake under the Immigration Act 2014, then again your holding deposit will not be returned. It will be retained by this firm and your Landlord. To be clear, if you change your mind, you will lose your “goodwill” deposit.
Payment can be made by debit card, cash, bank transfer or bankers draft.
Once we are in receipt of the holding deposit we will provide you with a link in order for you to complete the references online. This method helps to speed up the process, and each applicant will be required to complete this including guarantors. This will automatically be sent to the referencing company once completed, and we ask that you provide as much information as possible as incorrect or missing information will only delay the move in. The referencing company is not looking at the amount you hold in your bank account; they are looking at the following:
- They will check for any adverse credit history such as, bankruptcy, CCJs and court decrees
- They will check if there’s any previous names and addresses which you haven’t disclosed
- They will check whether there’s any undisclosed credit history which is linked to your current and most recent homes
- They will check that the banking details provided are for a genuine bank account
- They will check conduct a check against their own Default Database – this may indicate whether you have not been able to pay you’re rent in the past
- They will conduct a Financial Sanctions check, to make sure that you are not registered to any of the Government’s Asset Freezing lists - because this could mean you’re unable to pay your rent in the future
- They will speak to the tenant’s current Landlord or Managing Agent to ask them for a reference
- They will also speak to your employer to check you are being paid what you have told us and that there is no reason you’re employment will be terminated any time soon
- They are also able to reference company’s, Overseas students and Guarantors.
It is always advisable to discuss with your negotiator any potential problems areas or concerns you may have about your application as they are experienced in such matters and can often overcome them if brought to their attentions from the outset.
We do understand people may have adverse credit that has affected their credit history, due to a number of different reasons but in order for us to be able to work with you, we do require you to be honest and provide us with all the facts. Should the references come back unacceptable; subject to you having supplied us with true information we could potentially continue if you were able to arrange guarantor(s) or pay in advance. Failing to disclose information however irrelevant you may deem it, relating to adverse credit history may result in your application being declined.
Once we are in receipt of your successful references, we will let you and the Landlord know and we arrange for the legal documentation to be sent and collection of move in monies which is all outlined in your tenants guide.
Payment of Move in Monies
The full move in process will be completed on the Goodlord platform. They will request payment of the move in monies during the signing process. Payment can be made by bank transfer or debit card on the platform.
Preparation of the Tenancy Agreement
- We will supply you with the tenancy agreement for signature.
- You should read through the legal document carefully and ensure that you fully understand.
- Please feel free to contact us should you have any questions.
- If you do not understand any parts of the legal documentation it is strongly recommended that you seek advice from a solicitor or Citizens advice bureau. The tenancy agreement places a legal obligation on you.
- The tenancy agreement is a contract between the Landlord(s) and tenant(s).
- It outlines certain rights to both you and the Landlord, such as your right to live in the property for the agreed term and your Landlords right to receive rent for letting the property.
- Everyone looking to take possession of the property over the age of eighteen (18) must be named on the tenancy agreement. You cannot move anyone into the property the property without the consent from your Landlord to do so under any circumstances. Any changes to the tenancy agreement will be subject to an additional administration fee.
- Please notify us immediately if there are amendments required.
RECEIVING OF THE LEGAL DOCUMENTATION
The documentation will all be sent for signature via the Goodlord platform. You will be able to sign all of the documents electronically.
We will provide you with copies of all the documentation signed by the Landlord and you in our Welcome Pack on check in. This will be sent to you via email, unless requested otherwise.
You should keep the copies in a safe place as you may need it as evidence of your tenancy in some circumstances in the future. e.g. formal evidence of your address.
In order to comply with the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and the Money Laundering Regulations 2003 we are required to ensure that you provide us with one proof of identity and two proofs of residence, which can be selected from the list below.
List A: Proof of Identity
- Full Passport
- National Identity Card
- Biometric Residence Permit with unlimited leave
- UK immigration status document endorsed with unlimited leave
- A certificate of naturalisation or registration as a British citizen
- EEA/Swiss family member Permanent Residence card
List B: Proof of Residence
- Council Tax Bill
- Utility Bill
- Mortgage Statement
- Bank statement
- Credit Card Statement
Dockside will need to see the original documents and the person(s) to whom it relates too.
We request that you ensure a standing order is set up with your bank. You will need to ensure the rent payment reaches us by your rent due date.
A deposit against damage or dilapidations is required and is equivalent to five week's rental unless otherwise specifically stated. Your deposit is not transferable as rent. Deposits should be paid to us on or before the move in date. Details of the deposit and the terms under which it is held will be included in the Tenancy Agreement.
Since the introduction of the Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme either Landlords or Agents must be members of a government approved scheme in order to hold the deposit during a tenancy.
This protects your deposit and provides for the resolution of any disputes over its return. We are members of the TDS Scheme, further details can be found at Tenancy Deposit Scheme on moving in you will be issued with an informative booklet “What is the Tenancy Deposit Scheme”.
Once you have paid your deposit it will be registered with the tenancy deposit administered by the dispute service. Within 30 days of taking the deposit and contracts are signed, we will provide you with proof of compliance.
An inventory will be drawn up prior to the commencement of the tenancy and is a record of the condition of the property when you move into it. It protects the Landlord and Tenant by impartially noting the condition of the property (whether it is unfurnished or furnished).
Once the move in date has been agreed, a check in will be booked with an independent inventory clerk. The clerk will meet you at the property and check you in.
This includes taking meter readings, going through the inventory and releasing the keys. We write to all utility companies advising them that a new tenancy is taking place with meter readings.
As a Tenant you will be responsible for all utility bills including water rates and council tax. It is your responsibility to ensure that there is a television licence for the premises should a T.V be used in the property.
If you are exempt from council tax, although we initially write to them, it would be your responsibility to complete an exemption form. Below is the link to Medway Councils website:
Alternatively contact them on 01634 332222
The Landlord is responsible for insuring the property and their contents. It is the tenant’s responsibility to insure their own belongings.
Your landlord’s own insurance will not cover you if you accidentally damage their property and although we cannot enforce you to have insurance for your own belongings we must advise you it is highly recommended as the Landlord’s insurance will not cover you if your own belongings are damaged or stolen from your home.
You might not think you’ve got much to lose…. But you’d be surprised how fast it adds up. Please remember that even a small accident could absorb more than the sum we hold as deposit. If the damage exceeded the deposit amount we will still look to you for the monies, and we reserve the right to take the necessary court action if required.
Neither the Landlord nor Dockside Property Services can accept any responsibility or liability for any losses incurred.
REDIRECTION OF MAIL
Landlords and/or the previous Tenant /s have been advised that they should all mail redirected using the appropriate service via the Post Office. However this can take some time to set up and you may still receive some post. If this is the case we would appreciate this being forwarded to us promptly and unopened (or if non – managed directly to your Landlord). If mail of this type becomes a nuisance to you at any point please let us, or your Landlord know.
Each person named as a tenant on the contract will receive a set of keys to the property at the commencement of the tenancy. We will ensure that sufficient keys to other locks at the property are available for you on move in.
Once we are in receipt of all the signed legal documentation and initial move in monies have cleared, we will arrange for you to move into the property. We will arrange the check in; this is normally carried out at Midday unless agreed otherwise.
Within 24 hours of taking possession, a welcome pack will be sent to you via email, including contact details of your Landlord depending on whether the Landlord manages it, or Dockside on behalf of the Landlord.
The welcome pack will also include copies of the legal documentation, and the inventory and check in report.
We understand that moving can be a very stressful time. By using Dockside, one of Medway’s leading estate agents, you can be confident that you are in good hands. If you have any questions at all, please ask; we are here to help.
Client Money Protection
We are accredited agents of the Propertymark Client Money Protection (CMP) scheme and dedicated to protecting you and your assets.
As accredited agents, we comply with Propertymark's 'Conduct and Membership Rules'.
To view our CMP accredited certificate, click here.