Advice for Tenants

Letting a property is not as simple as choosing one and simply paying over your money to the Letting Agent and picking up the keys. There are various procedures that you have to go through to get into a position where you can move into your new home and it is a good idea to prepare yourself for what can be a very confusing time.

The guide below is designed to give you some hints and tips on how to go about finding your perfect property whilst making sure that you are as prepared as you can be for what is to be expected of you.

Do your homework

Your starting point for letting a property should be doing some research to identify the areas you would like to rent in. It is a good idea to make a list of things that are important to you, such as schools, shopping areas, bars and so on. Be sure to share your list of preferences with your letting agent so that they can assist you in your search!

Be Flexible

As the lettings business is so fast moving it is important that you remain as flexible as possible when it comes to viewing a property. If you are alerted to a property you like the look of, call the agent immediately as it would be such a shame if you missed out on the property of your dreams just because you thought you would wait a few hours to call! As the old saying goes, “you snooze, you lose”.

Also do not necessarily be put off by details in the property. If you don’t like the colour of a particular room, or there is furniture you would not want, have a chat with the agent. We encourage our landlords to be as flexible as they can if it means getting the right tenant into a property.

Get Prepared

Make sure that you have your documents ready. It is not just a case of you choosing a property and the agent handing over the keys, far from it! The will need to take Identification from you to satisfy the Money Laundering Regulations and check your immigration status (if applicable) and forms will need to be filled in to actually apply for the property that you have in mind.

The form will ask for various information about you including your employer, your last 3 years addressed and even if you need a guarantor. The better prepared you are the smoother the process should be to get you into the property you want.

Be certain

It is important that you do not sign the tenancy agreement unless you are positive that you want to rent the property as there is not any kind of cooling off period and the Landlord can hold you to the full term of the agreement once it is signed.

It is your responsibility to ask all of the relevant questions before you sign the document as once you move in it is too late to change your mind. Obviously signing a legal document like a tenancy agreement is a big step so make sure you have thought it through properly before you take the plunge.

Be cautious

Exercise extreme caution with who you share a property with, especially if each of you are signing the same tenancy agreement. If you do sign an agreement with other people then you make yourself liable for their share of the rent as well as yours and also for the cost of any damage that they might do to the property. The rule you should stick to is that you only sign a tenancy agreement with people that you fully trust.

Check the property on entry

Once you have signed the tenancy agreement and have picked up the keys, the first thing you should do is check the condition of the property (and any contents that form part of the agreement) against the Inventory that would have been conducted a few days previously.

If there is anything you do not agree with in the Inventory then make sure you make a note on the Inventory or email the office. Taking this course of action will assist you if you have a dispute regarding the deposit at the end of the tenancy.

Clean the property on exit

When you leave the property a “check out” report will be conducted and this will be used to show the Landlord in what state the property has been left in. This report will be compared with the Inventory “check in” report and recommendations made to the Landlord.

Most tenants are sensible and always ensure that it is left in a clean and tidy manner with carpets cleaned and so on. In the event that deductions are recommended due to any issues that have been highlighted and you disagree with them (and you are unable to negotiate) then you can contact the scheme administrators of the tenancy deposit scheme used by the agent and a dispute can be lodged. Do not delay in dealing with this situation as there may be a time limit.

Read the meters

When you first move into the property, make sure you take up to date meter readings for all of the utilities (gas, electric and water). You should then contact the providers with these readings and they will open a new account for you. Failure to do this could mean you end up with inaccurate bills and have to pay more than you really should!

This is also relevant even if there is key or card meters in the property. The rule of the thumb is, if there is gas, electric or water in the property – call the companies to register! The same goes when you leave the property – take final meter readings and inform the utility companies with your forwarding address.

Sign up to electoral roll

It is always a good idea to get yourself on to the electoral register when you move into a property. This obviously mean that you are able to vote in any up and coming elections but will also assist you in improving your credit score should you wish to apply for credit at some time in the future. To register you should contact your local council for guidance.

For further information, please refer to the How to Rent Guide produced by the Department for Communities and Local Government.

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21 October, 2016

5 Star Rating
This was our first time buying so did not really know what to expect, but Crosskeys were fantastic. They kept us well informed and seemed happy to help chase up solicitors etc throughout. A few times we got a little bit anxious and were not getting much info from the solicitors, and as soon as I contacted Crosskeys they were straight onto finding out where we were and put our mind at ease. Would definitely use them in the future and would recommend to others. Thank you.
By: Abby & Ashey

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What our clients are saying about us

Cross Keys sold our house immediately, achieving the full asking price. They did exactly as they said they would, throughout every step of the process.

We chose to sell our home with Cross Keys based on the initial visit with Jack. It was apparent that his extensive local knowledge, professionalism and personable character was representative of the company and exactly the right mix of qualities that would sell our home. Robs visit to take photos and details for the brochure was as impressive and resulted in producing a quality sales brochure. The photos looked amazing and the wording was refreshingly original. Craig was proficient in explaining the detail of the contract and Tom contacted me promptly to give feedback from viewings. I can’t thank them enough, to me, they did more than sell our home, they made it possible for us to move forward with our plans for the next step of our lives.

An altogether seamless, faultless and experience. I would have absolutely no hesitation to recommend Cross Keys to family and friends.

Mr and Mrs J

From the word go we have had nothing but great help. Since walking in to the offices in Mutley plain and being referred to the Stoke office we have felt so looked after. We were looking for a property whilst trying to sort out renting out our own property. All the estate agents we had dealings with previous were either to pushy or seamed to eager to tell you what you wanted to hear. When we were visited by Jack he basically told us with out having all the bells and whistles what our property would be worth rental wise and also about a house well two that he thought would suit our family. When we met Jack at the first property we had that instant feeling and new it was the one. We are near the end and due to complete soon and with out Jack I know we would still be looking. Any issues or queries we have had just one call to the office and Rob has always answered our questions and made us feel at ease. As estate agents go and they are estate agents not just sales people, you could never find a more helpful,friendly and knowledgeable group of people and would highly recommend Cross Keys to any one as many of my friends did to me.

Darren Davis

Cross Keys is the best estate agent we have ever had dealings with. They were always available whether we popped in or on the end of the phone. The staff were very friendly and helpful and the office decor was stunning and very welcoming. The speed at which they sold our house was amazing. We will always use Cross Keys in the future and have recommended them to all our friends.

Nicola & Chris

We had a rather complicated purchase of a big old house with lots of problems. Jon demonstrated endless patience with us and good humour in challenging circumstances. He was professional, honest and reliable. As a consequence of his, and latterly Jacks, hard work we sold our house and managed to coordinate the purchase of the new house. Jon is an eloquent sales man who clearly does his research on a property, so he was great for selling our house. Furthermore, he was always ready and willing to help with our purchase too. Jack stepped in to deal with the various solicitors involved to ensure that our sale/purchase went through on time. Amazing team work, so helpful and easy to deal with. The thing I loved was that as a purchaser going on a viewing there was no after viewing pressure, unlike some local estate agents that ring you endlessly they ask you once for feedback then leave it to you to come back to them if you want to take it further. Brilliant! Well done and thank you all involved.

Janey H

Excellent, professional service from initial valuation from Steve Jones through to completion. Steve knew the market well and got the price right, Jon found the buyer quickly and kept watch on the property while it was vacant, Aimee did an excellent job of keeping me informed of progress all the way. In terms of professionalism, they were head and shoulders above the other agents we ask to value the property.


I have used Cross Keys in the past to sell a property, based on there excellent advice the property sold for the asking price in one day of being marketed. I now use them to let a property and once again have received excellent service, clear communication and true professionalism through all negotiations between myself and my tenants. Highly recommended for both sales and lettings.

Russ Wiliams


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