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Tenants Advice

Where to begin

Its hard to know where to start when you are looking to rent a property for the first time, or even the second or third time. Below is our brief guide on the first steps to finding you a property to rent.

The first step is to contact your local Richard James office who will register your details and discuss your search requirements. Try to have in mind some or all of the following.

Where do you want to live? ( Have a look round at the areas that would suit you, or just come in for a chat and we can help. )

What are your ‘must haves’ and ‘would like to haves’? What’s your budget? How long do you want to be renting?  When do you need to move?

We recommend beginning your search around 6-8 weeks prior to your ideal move date to ensure all the paperwork gets done properly.

Step two:

View a selection of properties from our extensive portfolio. One of our expert team will show you the best properties available in line with your requirements.

The Swindon property market moves very quickly.  If you find the perfect property, one that suits the majority of your requirements, you may wish to place an offer on the same day – be prepared, it may be the first one you see!

Step three:

Once you’ve found the place you want to rent,  you’ll need to complete an offer form with your negotiator, ensuring all your requirements are clearly stated. A Non-Refundable Deposit of £250.00 is payable at this stage.  This amount is refundable should your offer not be accepted or the landlord withdraws.

Step four:

When your offer is accepted, the referencing checks will be put into progress. A referencing company will liaise direct for the application forms to be completed. Our negotiators will contact you should we require any further infomation at this stage.

Once the referenceing stage is complete and satisfactory, we will confirm your offer and you will also be issued with a statement of account for your initial payment due on the day you move in.

This will include:

• Rent for the first month

• Deposit – equivalent to six weeks rent

• Administration fee for referencing (note of all tenants fees can be found here)

Future payments for monthly rent are taken by standing-order in advance so please have your bank account details available to complete the form. Please note the signature must be an original as faxed copies are not accepted by the banks.

Step five:

Provided that all payments, documents and references are in order, your keys will be available for collection on the start date of the tenancy. Your negotiator will ensure that this is organised at a convenient time and we will meet you in our offices to go through the tenancy agreements and take your initial payments and to hand over your keys.

We inform utility providers that you have moved into the property and ensure all accounts are transferred into your name (with the exception of telephone and broadband).

A copy of the inventory check-in report will be given to you on the day of move in, you will have 7 days to make any amendments.  Now relax and have a cup of tea.

Step six:

If your property is managed by us, you will be advised of the name and contact details of your property manager at the start of the tenancy.  Please feel free to contact them at any time to discuss any questions or problems you may have as we are always here to help.

If your property is managed by the landlord, we will provide you with their contact details and you should contact them directly for any maintenance issues.  For any questions regarding tenancy agreements, break clauses, payments or renewals, please contact our Management Department and they will provide you with all the necessary contact numbers upon moving in.

If you are still unsure, one of the Richard James team will be happy to provide further advice.

Our Marriotts office in Faringdon is now back open and we are able to carry out valuations, viewings and site meetings by appointment, following strict government guidelines for the safety and protection of all parties.  Interest in properties has remained high throughout the shutdown, and we now find there is even more interest in both residential and commercial sales and lettings.


If we can be of any assistance, please call our office in the first instance, on 01367 242422, or alternatively you can call Andrew Brown on 07971 410312 or Juliet Souter on 07770 640080