qwerty098765432
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So I'm studying in UCL and am sorta new to this renting a flat thing. I will be living with 3 other people and would be grateful if you can answer some questions!

1) What happens after you've decided on a flat?
2) How long does this process take and what if you are on holiday or something? Like for the part where you give information about yourself (like proof of right to rent in UK) etc, do I need to be in the country or meet up with the agent?
3) When do you sign the contract? (like the day you move in or like a few weeks before)

Sorry the questions might sound kinda stupid but would appreciate some advice
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PhoenixFortune
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(Original post by qwerty098765432)
So I'm studying in UCL and am sorta new to this renting a flat thing. I will be living with 3 other people and would be grateful if you can answer some questions!

1) What happens after you've decided on a flat?
2) How long does this process take and what if you are on holiday or something? Like for the part where you give information about yourself (like proof of right to rent in UK) etc, do I need to be in the country or meet up with the agent?
3) When do you sign the contract? (like the day you move in or like a few weeks before)

Sorry the questions might sound kinda stupid but would appreciate some advice
Is this a student flat or a private 'non-student' flat?
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qwerty098765432
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It's a private non-student flat.
(Original post by PhoenixFortune)
Is this a student flat or a private 'non-student' flat?
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PhoenixFortune
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(Original post by qwerty098765432)
So I'm studying in UCL and am sorta new to this renting a flat thing. I will be living with 3 other people and would be grateful if you can answer some questions!

1) What happens after you've decided on a flat?
2) How long does this process take and what if you are on holiday or something? Like for the part where you give information about yourself (like proof of right to rent in UK) etc, do I need to be in the country or meet up with the agent?
3) When do you sign the contract? (like the day you move in or like a few weeks before)

Sorry the questions might sound kinda stupid but would appreciate some advice
As you're renting a non-student flat (and I lived in one during my undergraduate degree), I can give you general advice - although the specific details may vary by landlord/letting agent.

1) Once you've agreed on the flat you want, the agent will draw up the contracts you need to sign. They will also want to conduct a credit check on you. You will be asked to pay your deposit, usually on the day of signing, so make sure you have the funds available to you (they usually prefer a bank transfer). Remember, make sure that you have signed the contract before paying your deposit, so that everything is in writing. If they ask for a small holding fee (which will reserve the flat for X number of days), again, make sure there is a paper trail for this. You should also be told which deposit protection scheme the agent will use (which is basically an intermediary to prevent the agent keeping your deposit without justification at the end of your tenancy).

2) This will depend on how busy the agent is, and whether the contracts are ready immediately. If they aren't, you may have to wait for them to be drawn up. This shouldn't take longer than a week. The proof of right to rent etc. should be provided ideally before you sign the contract, but they may ask you for it when you go to sign. You would need to discuss whether your presence is necessary with your agent - some allow contracts to be signed digitally online or via post, while others prefer in-person signing to verify your identity.

3) It's very unlikely you would sign the contract the day you move in (and you should be very wary if a landlord asks you to do this - the landlord needs to conduct checks on you and this won't be instantaneous). You would sign the contract maybe a few weeks up to a few months before, as it will depend on whether the flat is vacant and how long it will take to prepare it for new tenants.

Hope that helps.
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qwerty098765432
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(Original post by PhoenixFortune)
As you're renting a non-student flat (and I lived in one during my undergraduate degree), I can give you general advice - although the specific details may vary by landlord/letting agent.

1) Once you've agreed on the flat you want, the agent will draw up the contracts you need to sign. They will also want to conduct a credit check on you. You will be asked to pay your deposit, usually on the day of signing, so make sure you have the funds available to you (they usually prefer a bank transfer). Remember, make sure that you have signed the contract before paying your deposit, so that everything is in writing. If they ask for a small holding fee (which will reserve the flat for X number of days), again, make sure there is a paper trail for this. You should also be told which deposit protection scheme the agent will use (which is basically an intermediary to prevent the agent keeping your deposit without justification at the end of your tenancy).

2) This will depend on how busy the agent is, and whether the contracts are ready immediately. If they aren't, you may have to wait for them to be drawn up. This shouldn't take longer than a week. The proof of right to rent etc. should be provided ideally before you sign the contract, but they may ask you for it when you go to sign. You would need to discuss whether your presence is necessary with your agent - some allow contracts to be signed digitally online or via post, while others prefer in-person signing to verify your identity.

3) It's very unlikely you would sign the contract the day you move in (and you should be very wary if a landlord asks you to do this - the landlord needs to conduct checks on you and this won't be instantaneous). You would sign the contract maybe a few weeks up to a few months before, as it will depend on whether the flat is vacant and how long it will take to prepare it for new tenants.

Hope that helps.
Thank you so much!
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qwerty098765432
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Also another question (again sorry if I sound stupid haha),

So basically we paid a holding deposit and now we are at the referencing stage.
What exactly is a character/landlord reference? Who do I get them from and how?
Like can I literally just ask any of my university friends for my character reference?
Also for the landlord reference, I'm not sure who to put down? Before the first year of university I lived with my parents and for the first year I stayed in university of london student accommodation. Do I just write down the details of my accommodation and expect that they will provide a reference for me?
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PhoenixFortune
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(Original post by qwerty098765432)
Also another question (again sorry if I sound stupid haha),

So basically we paid a holding deposit and now we are at the referencing stage.
What exactly is a character/landlord reference? Who do I get them from and how?
Like can I literally just ask any of my university friends for my character reference?
Also for the landlord reference, I'm not sure who to put down? Before the first year of university I lived with my parents and for the first year I stayed in university of london student accommodation. Do I just write down the details of my accommodation and expect that they will provide a reference for me?
Do you need to provide a character and a landlord reference or just one or the other? A reference of this nature tends to be a statement of how well you look after a property, whether you consistently paid you rent on time, were trustworthy etc.

I was only ever asked to provide a landlord reference and not a character reference, but as you haven't lived anywhere owned by a private landlord, I'm not sure what to suggest. You may have to ask the agent for this new property as to what they'd advise you to do. They may ask for a brief statement from your previous halls provider - they would be able to say whether rent was paid on time and whether you left your room in a fair state at the end of your tenancy.
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