Welcome to Othala Lettings
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Tenants

Frequently asked questions

Can I comfortably afford the rent?

We have a duty of care to our landlord clients and the tenants we find for their properties to ensure they can adequately cover the cost of the rent. To see how we work this out and how much rent you can afford based on your income to pass our criteria check our affordability calculator by using our Affordability Chart:

Use the guide below to determine the rent you can afford based on your income to pass our criteria. You will also see listed a guarantor's required income to pass as a guarantor on your tenancy. If you cannot afford the rent you will be able to provide a guarantor. Bear in mind that if you're joint tenants moving into a property you can base the affordable rent on your combined income totals:


If you’re moving into a property on a joint tenancy, which is with someone else who will share the rental obligations with you, we will base the rent you can afford on your combined income totals. Each tenant will be charged a £99 fee for their referencing, paper work and administration.
Occasionally the best way to proceed may be with a guarantor. A guarantor is someone who will sign the tenancy and be prepared to cover your rental obligations should you default on them in any way. A fee of £75 will apply for the credit checking, referencing and legal paper required for the guarantor. In this instance, a guarantor (or joint guarantors) will need to show their income is sufficient to guarantee the rent.

When should I start looking for a new home?

You should start viewing properties no longer than one month before the date you wish to move. There is one exception to this in student accommodation. Here it is not uncommon for students to start looking for new accommodation for the next academic year as early as December the year before. Such accommodation will usually be large 4 or 5 bedroom shared houses and will be clearly stated as student accommodation with an availability date of July-September in the listing.

Does the rent include the bills?

Unless otherwise stated you should always assume that the property is listed exclusive of all bills.

Do you accept Housing Benefit?

Different landlords will stipulate different restrictions and requirements. On each advert at the bottom of the page you will notice a section labeled 'restrictions'. If the listing states "No DSS" then the landlord has indicated to us he is not willing to accept Housing Benefit as payment of rent.

Will you be happy to take pets?

Again this can depend on the landlord's stipulations. Many landlords refuse to take pets. Some landlords might accept pets although it's becoming common practice to obtain a 'pet reference'. This can be a written or verbal statement from your existing landlord or letting agent that your pet hasn't caused damage or nuisance to their property or that any damage was adequately repaired or settled prior to the termination of your lease.

I wish to proceed and take a property, what do I do?

There is a specific procedure to follow if you wish to take a property which involves you paying a fully refundable holding deposit of £200.

Once you've chosen your property, the application process begins.
 
Firstly, you will need to place a £200.00 holding deposit on a property should you wish to take it. This is refunded in full as long as you proceed to the tenancy signing stage. Should you pull out for whatever reason, the £200.00 is forfeited. The holding fee is required as it demonstrates a commitment from you to the landlord and ensures they aren't messed about. Once received, we will stop marketing and conducting viewings on a property.
 
We'll use the application form to obtain references from your current landlord and your employer. We do this to ensure there have been no breaches in your existing letting contract and that you are in employment with sufficient income to meet the financial requirements of the tenancy agreement you will sign. We also require two forms of ID before you move in, one must feature a photograph of you (e.g. passport). If you're completing the application process online you can bring your ID on the day you come to our office to sign the agreements.
 
When filling out the form, it's important you complete as much information as possible. Any missing information may result in delays.
 
It's fairly straightforward but should you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us should you wish to discuss it further.

How soon can I move in?

The referencing and credit check procedure usually takes two working days to complete, depending on how quickly your referees such as your employer or previous landlord takes to respond. If we have to do additional checks on guarantors the process can be delayed.

How much is the deposit?

This can vary depending on the landlord’s stipulations. The usual procedure is to take a dilapidation's deposit equal to one month’s rent for an unfurnished property or a deposit equal to 6 weeks rent for a furnished property. Your dilapidation's deposit will be stored with one of the three government approved protection schemes to comply with the Housing Act 2004 legislation. This act was bought in to safeguard tenant's deposits.

When do I pay the rent and deposit?

To ensure you’re really serious about taking the property we ask you to pay your first month’s rent within 7 days of us holding the property for you. You will then be required to pay the dilapidation's deposit on the day you move in. You will not be allowed to move into a property before we have received both the first month’s rent and dilapidation's deposit in cleared funds. There is no flexibility on this decision. If you’re planning on paying by cheque you must get it to us at least 5 working days before the date you’re going to move in. We can also accept payment by BACS 2 working days before your moving day. 

What sort of contract will I sign?

Typically you will sign an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement for a minimum of 6 months.

What fees will I have to pay to Othala?

We have a very simple fee structure. Please download this short document which tells you all you need to know about our charges to tenants.

   

I’ve still got some more questions...

We understand there's a lot to take in and the process can appear a little daunting. Please feel free to contact us, we'll be happy to offer you guidance or discuss any queries you may have about renting a property through Othala Lettings

 

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