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A guide to renting

The following guide will give you an overview of how to house-hunt with Comfort Lettings and then run through the process of securing and moving into your next home.

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1. Your Property Search

When looking for your next home, it is worth considering some key requirements:

  • Think about where you would like to live. What are the important things that you need to be near? i.e. schools, shops, transport etc.
  • Consider your ‘must haves’ when refining your search. This should help you separate the important things from the essentials. For example, could you compromise on outside space, the number of bedrooms, or the area you are looking to rent in?
  • Think about your budget. Would you pay more if the property included additional features?
  • Consider when you want to move. From that date, work backwards and start your search 6 to 8 weeks before your expected move in date.

Once you've figured out your list of requirements browse our website to find your perfect property. You will find virtual tours available for most of our properties which allow you to easily navigate around the property, as if you were there in person.

Step 2

2. Book in Viewings

Once you have found some properties to view, contact Comfort Lettings to arrange a viewing. This can be done on the property tabs within the website, or by contacting the office and speaking to a member of staff. Ensure you discuss your requirements with the staff member who manages the property. Our Portfolio Managers are highly trained and knowledgeable and will be able to provide further advice and information at this stage.

An Accompanied Viewer will then show you your selected properties at a time that suits you, either virtually or in person. At the viewing appointment, be sure to make notes and ask the Accompanied Viewer as many questions as you like.

Comfort Lettings Top viewing tips:

  • Look at the storage space within the property, for example built in cupboards and wardrobes. Just remember if the property has a tenant in be sure to respect personal property and avoid touching any personal items.
  • Look at the central heating system. Is it one that is familiar or works in a way that suits your lifestyle.
  • An emotional attachment to the property is important, but remember not to overlook the fundamental aspects that will affect your day-to-day living.
  • Think about the services connected at the property. Is there a TV aerial, broadband services, Sky dish?

3. Securing a Property

Assuming you have taken the above steps, you should be ready to secure a property when the right one comes up. The rental market moves more quickly than the sales market, so it is important that when you find the perfect house, you are able to take the steps to secure it quickly.

We recommend that you are always prepared with relevant documents, such as a form of ID, proof of your address, previous landlord references and employer references. We'll need to certify the originals to check your 'Right to Rent'. By law, we must see a copy of either your:

  • Passport; or
  • Driving Licence with Birth Certificate.
  • Also, for non-EU nationals, we'll need to see your Visa.

You will need to pay a Holding Deposit to state your intention of proceeding with a property.

In addition, you will need to complete the digital signing of our ‘Applicant Reservation Form’ which clearly sets out the Terms of your Holding Deposit and responsibilities when reserving a property.

You may also be required to make other permitted payments in relation to the tenancy. You can find the list of permitted payments here.

“Sophie, the agent with whom we have been dealing and signing with, has been quite simply outstanding from start to finish. She has been ever-reliable, informative and understanding. It has been a breath of fresh air and from what I’ve heard from others looking to sign on we have been lucky to have someone so easy to contact and assist us as Sophie has been. ”

Comfort Tenant - Charlie

Step 4

4. Credit Checks and References

A dedicated Portfolio Manager will oversee your application for a property and you will be required to provide evidence that you have rented in the past without major problems.

Referencing Criteria

  • Three years’ previous address history.
  • Landlord's details for any property rented in the last 3 years.
  • Confirmation of earnings per annum that are equal to the per calendar month rent multiplied by 30.
  • If you're retired, then your (joint) pension per annum will also need to equal 30 times the per calendar month rent.
  • No adverse credit in the form of a county court judgment, bankruptcy order or similar.
  • If you're self-employed, either an accountant's certificate or evidence of the last three years' tax returns.
  • If you are a student you will need a family member or friend to act as a guarantor for your share of the rent.
Step 5

5. Deposit

Once the deposit is paid in full, the property is secured. This deposit is held to cover any excessive damages that need to be repaired at the end of the tenancy.

If Comfort Lettings are managing your property, the deposit will likely be held in the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) or Deposit Protection Service (DPS). You will be issued with a deposit ID number and certificate of registration from the schemes which you will need to keep safe for the return process at the end of your tenancy.

Step 6

6. Tenancy Agreement

A Tenancy Agreement is a legally binding document that sets out the terms of the tenancy and is drawn up to ensure the rights and obligations of both the tenant and the landlord are clear. All relevant parties will be asked to sign this document - we may sign this on the Landlord's behalf. The tenancy agreement will include responsibilities such as the value of rental payments, when payment is due, and who is responsible for repairs within the property.

Step 7

7. Inventory and Schedule of Condition

The inventory is a detailed list of contents and condition of the property before you move in. It will be prepared by an independent inventory clerk. This allows the landlord and tenant an opportunity to agree the condition of the property at the start of the tenancy and diminishes the risk of any dispute when you move out. We recommend you thoroughly check the inventory before you sign it.

“Unusually good [letting] agent. Very helpful, polite and dedicated. I'd recommend them to anyone.”

Comfort Tenant - Gary W

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8. Moving Day

You will be required to pay your first month’s rent and deposit in advance of moving in – details will be provided to you by your dedicated Portfolio Manager.

Future rent payments will be made monthly and taken by direct debit.

Your keys will be available to collect either at our local branch or at your check-in appointment. This will be done either by your landlord or an inventory clerk - depending on the management service level your landlord has selected. Your Portfolio Manager will confirm these details with you.

Step 9

9. Property Inspections

As part of our obligations to the Landlord, we will carry out routine property inspections throughout the course of the tenancy to check that everything is in order, usually only a couple of times a year. Both you and your landlord will receive copies of the report, so that everyone is aware of the property's current condition and disputes can either be avoided or easily resolved.

Maintenance issues

Of course, if anything breaks down or requires looking at, we will arrange to visit the property to ensure everything is maintained in good condition for you.

If your property is professionally managed by us, you'll receive a call within 48 hours of reporting an issue from your designated Portfolio Manager, who will be your main point of contact during the course of your tenancy. They will advise you on any maintenance issues and if action is needed either by yourself or the landlord.

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10. The Next Step

Once nearing the end of your tenancy agreement, you will need to decide whether to stay on in your property, or whether you wish to leave, remembering to provide the relevant notice in writing.

a. Staying put

If you do decide to renew your tenancy agreement we will be in touch with you regarding this and will send you a new tenancy agreement to sign. Unlike most other agents we do not charge any tenancy renewal fees. If your circumstances have changed since you first rented the property, some new checks may need to be undertaken, however you will be advised of this at the time.

b. Moving out

If we manage the property, we will arrange a check out report to be conducted on or after the last day of your tenancy to ensure that the property is left in the same condition it was given to you. At this point, you will need to ensure that the keys are returned to us. If the landlord manages the property, you will need to liaise directly with them to arrange a suitable time and date to meet there and to hand the keys back.


After serving your notice you'll need to ensure that the property is left in good condition in order for you to be entitled to your full deposit back. If there are no deductions or disputes and all the necessary forms are filled out correctly by you and by the landlord, your deposit should be returned ten days after the deposit release agreements have been received.

Assuming normal wear-and-tear, if the property is in the same condition as when you moved in, getting your deposit back should not be a problem.

Here's what to do next:

  • Give the property a thorough clean, including carpets, windows, walls, skirting and furniture (if necessary hire a professional cleaner).
  • If it's your responsibility, tidy up the garden and clear away any rubbish.
  • Return all of the keys.
  • Remove all of your personal belongings.

If you need any help either before or after your tenancy call us and we'll be happy to help. Your portfolio Manager will also send you a detailed checklist to run through before the end of your tenancy.

A Guide to Renting

Download this guide as a pdf.

Step 5

11. Agent's Fees (Permitted Payments)

As well as paying the rent, you may also be required to make the following Permitted Payments.

Permitted payments

Before the tenancy starts (payable to Comfort Letting Agents LLP ‘the Agent’)

- Holding Deposit: up to 1 week’s rent

- Tenancy Deposit: Up to 5 week’s rent.

During the tenancy (payable to the Agent)

- Payment of £36 per hour for the work associated with making minor amendments to the tenancy agreement once signed.

- Payment of interest for the late payment of rent at a rate of Bank of England Base Rate plus 3% per annum.

- Payment of the cost of the replacement key plus £15 per hour for any associated time incurred for the loss of keys/security devices.

- Payment of any unpaid rent or other reasonable costs associated with your early termination of the tenancy.

During the tenancy (payable to the provider)

If permitted and applicable:

Utilities: Gas, electricity, water.

Communications: telephone and broadband, installation of cable/satellite, subscription to cable/satellite supplier, television licence

Council Tax.

Other permitted payments

Any other permitted payments, not included above, under the relevant legislation including contractual damages.

Tenant protection

Comfort Letting Agents LLP is a member of ARLA Propertymark Membership Number M0206320, offering client money protection (CMP) with Scheme reference: C0127805, and also a member of The Property Ombudsman redress scheme membership number: D8857.

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