posted on 27 Sep 2019 by Jayde

How to rent an apartment in Birmingham city centre

Blog | Lettings | How to rent an apartment in Birmingham city centre

Renting an apartment in Birmingham city centre could be a bit confusing, so we’ve put together a handy guide to walk you through it step-by-step.

Step 1: Book your viewing

Take a look through our renting page; you’ll get a full list of everything we currently have on the rental market. Once you find something you fancy, make sure you double-check that the available date suits your desired move-in date, the price is within your budget and it has as many beds, baths and parking spaces you need.

Once you’re happy that it’ll suit your needs, give us a call on 0121 366 0456, and one of the lettings team will be able to book you in for a viewing.

They’ll need to take a few details from you (your name, contact details, your desired moving date, how long you’re looking to rent for, if you need parking or if you have pets – things like that).

You’ll be able to book in to view a maximum of 3 apartments at one time – these might be separate appointments, or they may be all at once. It depends on what the lettings consultants’ diaries are like and if the apartments are in the same neighbourhoods.

We know a lot of you currently live outside of Birmingham – London, China, the Middle East… – the list goes on! We offer video-call viewings, conducted by our lettings consultants, so that those of you who can’t easily get to our apartments can still see them and proceed with confidence.

Step 2: Prepare for your viewing

The day before we’ll send you an email confirming that your viewing is going ahead and giving you the address of the property. Unless you’ve been explicitly told you’ll be coming to the office for an in-house appointment, you’ll be meeting the lettings consultant at the development.

The morning of the viewing, you’ll receive a text or call from your lettings consultant double-checking that you’re still available for the viewing, please make sure to reply to this! If you can’t make your viewing anymore, just let us know – It’s no biggie, but it means we can fit someone else in your spot instead! If you don’t reply, we’ll assume you aren’t able to make the appointment and cancel it.

If you’re going to be late to the viewing, please make us aware as soon as you can. Our lettings consultants will aim to stick around for up to 10 minutes, but as they will have other appointments before and after yours, this is not always possible. The sooner we know, the sooner we can help!

Step 3: Attend your viewing

During your viewing, the lettings consultant will show you around the apartment and answer any questions you may have.

They will also ask you questions during the viewing to get to know you and your situation better. It’s their job to find you the home that suits your needs and wants after all.

Make sure you ask your lettings consultant about the area, especially if you’re new to the city, they’ll be able to help you gauge if it’s the kind of neighbourhood you can see yourself living in. They also know handy things, like the nearest supermarket or doctors surgery, for example.

If you’re not sure about anything at all, ask!

Step 4: Discuss your offer with your Lettings Consultant

You’ve seen the apartment and it’s just what you’re after? Good! Let’s get the ball rolling.

You need to have a chat with the lettings consultant who showed you around – you are best to do this as soon as you know you’re interested in taking the property – someone else will probably beat you to it if you don’t!

Your lettings consultant will already know what kind of offers the landlord will and won’t accept, so they’ll help guide you towards an offer most likely to be accepted. By this point, you’ll have already told your consultant about you, but they’ll now need to know a few more things about your offer, such as how long you’ll be looking to stay (6 months to 3 years), when you’d like to move in and if you have any conditions. We can’t promise the landlord will agree to conditions, but it’s always better to ask during the offer process, rather than after you’ve moved in.

Your lettings consultant will also chat to you about our income threshold (40x the monthly rent annually) and what the options are for you if you don’t quite meet this. You may be asked to pay a bulk-sum of rent upfront or you may be asked to provide a guarantor. Students will need to do this as standard as student loans are not classed as regular income.

Guarantors will be required to own a home or business in the UK and exceed the income threshold of 40x the monthly rent annually. They’ll also be fully referenced, so will have to provide proof of identity and income.

After you’ve covered all of that, we’ll also ask you about which type of deposit scheme you’d like to use. You can, of course, pay the traditional 5-weeks deposit, or you can choose our deposit replacement service.  If you’re not sure which one is best for you, we’re more than happy to help.

Step 5: Make an offer

Once you’ve had a chat with your lettings consultant, they’ll send you a link to an offer form.

You need to fill this form in as accurately and honestly as possible. If we know all of the facts, we can work with you to make the offer acceptable- but if you provide false information and that causes the let to fall through, you will forfeit your holding deposit and lose the apartment entirely! Honesty is always the best policy.

If you viewed the property you want via video-call, your lettings consultant will also send you a disclaimer to sign to confirm this.

Make sure the form (and disclaimer, if applicable) is completed in a timely manner; our lettings consultants can’t approach the landlord about the offer until they have a completed offer form (and disclaimer).

Step 6: Your offer is sent to the landlord

It is completely up to the landlord if they do or don’t accept your offer. The landlord may come back with a counter-offer or may just ask for more information – your lettings consultant will negotiate between you and the landlord until you come to an agreement you’re both happy with.

Step 7: Referencing

Once your offer has been accepted, we’ll add you to our referencing portal, Goodlord. Here you’ll need to supply personal information, residential history, income information, and documents to support it all as well as pay your holding deposit.

The holding deposit is equal to 1 weeks rent. This holding deposit is a bit of a promise on both sides – you’re showing commitment to the property and we’re promising to take the property off the market and not show it to anyone else. The amount you pay as a holding deposit will be deducted from your first months’ rent.

The documents you’ll need to provide during referencing are:

  • ID
    • Passport, ID card or UK driving license and birth certificate
  • Visa (if applicable)
  • BRP card (if applicable)
  • Your HR, line manager or accountants details (if applicable)
    • You may also be asked for payslips or HMRC documentation depending on your employment situation
  • Your confirmation of study (if applicable)
  • Your landlord or letting agents contact details (if you are currently renting)

If you’re using a guarantor, they’ll also need to supply all of the same documentation, information and proof.

Step 8: Referencing passed

Congratulations! Now you need to sign your tenancy agreement.

We’ll send this to you digitally, so you can sign it wherever you are, whenever suits you. Just make sure this is done before you move onto the next step.

At this stage there is also the option to have Goodlord help you set up your utilities – this is totally optional but a definite time-saver.

You’ll now be sent details about your property, any codes or parking space numbers you may need, details of how to contact your account manager and instructions of what to do next!

Step 9: Arrange your key handover appointment

You’ll now need to pay your security deposit and first month’s rent.

If you’d like to pay this via the referencing portal, Goodlord, you need to make sure you do it 5 working days before you plan to pick up the keys. If you don’t have 5 working days left before your planned move-in date, you’ll need to pay us this to us by card in the office when you come to collect your keys.

You’ll need to book an appointment to pick up your keys. Let us know your preferred date and time, and we’ll see when we can fit you in. Always make sure to book an appointment – if you pop in without letting us know beforehand, we can’t promise we’ll have the availability to go through the key handover procedure with you.

Step 10: Move-in day!

When you come by the office for your key handover appointment, don’t forget to bring your passport (or other previously agreed ID), visa (if applicable) and BRP card (if applicable). We need to see you with the original documents before we can hand over the keys – it’s part of the government-enforced Right-to-Rent checks so there is no way around it, sorry! If you don’t bring them, you’ll have to come back another time with them before we can hand over the keys.

And that’s it; you’re in! Once you have the keys, the place is all yours. If you have any further questions, requests or queries you’ll be able to contact your account manager to deal with them.

If you have any questions about any of the steps, please do get in touch, we’d love to be able to help.

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