Tenants Guide.

Looking for quality rental property in and around the Surrey and West Sussex area?

Our award-winning lettings team is ready to help you find your ideal next new rental property.

Be the first to know about new rental properties coming to market.

Competition for rental property is incredibly fierce and many properties are let before even reaching the property portals.

That's why we recommend that prospective tenants register with us so that we can let them know as soon as a new rental property that fits their criteria is about to be listed or soon to become available.

When you register with us, not only will you be ahead of the queue for new properties, we can also pre-qualify you so that you are ready to rent when your property match becomes available, and more likely to be accepted as a tenant by landlords.

What to expect when applying to become a tenant...

Becoming a tenant can seem quite complicated but at Clarendons we make the whole process simple and straightforward, and whether this is your first time renting or your fifth, we're here to guide you through the procedure and answer any of your questions or queries.

As part of the process, we carry out several vetting procedures before you sign your Tenancy Agreement.

Tenant Checks:

  • Affordability – We will require proof of income and bank statements for the last 3 months
  • Credit Check - Having a poor credit rating does not necessarily mean you will not be able to rent, but you may require a guarantor or an upfront rent payment to do so
  • Previous Landlord Reference (or another applicable referee should you be a first-time renter)
  • Guarantor Checks (if applicable). Your guarantor will be subject to credit checks and be able to pay your rent if you are unable to do so
  • Right to Rent Check - This is a legal requirement and you will need to provide us with one of the following:
  • A UK passport
  • An EU/EEA passport or identity card, permanent residence card
  • A travel document showing indefinite leave to remain
  • A visa (if applicable)
  • A Home Office immigration status document or a certificate of registration/naturalisation as a British citizen

What not to expect...

Under the Tenants Fee Act 2019 it is illegal to charge a tenant for:

  • Referencing
  • Administration
  • Credit checks
  • Right to Rent checks
  • Your Tenancy Agreement (AST – Assured Shorthold Tenancy)
  • Renewing your tenancy when your fixed term contract ends

Tenant Fee Act 2019 permitted fees are:

  • The rent
  • A refundable tenancy deposit capped at no more than five weeks’ rent where the annual rent for the property is less than £50,000 and no more than six weeks’ rent where the annual rent for the property is £50,000 or more.
  • A refundable holding deposit (with certain exceptions) capped at no more than one week’s rent.
  • A default payment in the event of a tenant losing their key, or losing a security device giving access to housing.
  • A default payment for late payment of rent more than 14 days late arrears at no more than an annual percentage rate of 3% above the Bank of England's base rate for each day that the payment is outstanding.
  • Certain payments on assignment, novation or variation of a tenancy when requested by the tenant capped at £50, or reasonable costs incurred if higher.
  • Payments associated with early termination of the tenancy, when requested by the tenant.
  • Payments in respect of utilities, communication services, television licence and council tax


Once you have found your ideal rental property, to secure it and ensure that it isn't let to another applicant, you will be required to pay a holding deposit of the equivalent of a week's rent and the deadline for the commencement of the tenancy agreement is 15 days from date of payment unless otherwise agreed in writing.

Whether the holding deposit is refunded or not is based on the following criteria;

  • The holding deposit must be refunded if the tenant has been charged a ‘banned fee’ or if the landlord behaves in such an unreasonable way such that it would be unreasonable to expect the tenant to enter the tenancy.
  • The letting agent does not have to refund a holding deposit if the tenant fails a Right to Rent check.
  • If the tenant provides misleading information.
  • Fails to take all reasonable steps to enter into a tenancy agreement when the letting agent or landlord have done so.

Once all of our vetting procedures are complete and you are ready to sign your tenancy agreement, you will be required to pay the first month’s rent and a five-week security deposit in line with the Tenants Fee Act 2019. The five-week deposit will be calculated based on a week’s rent times five.

The five-week security deposit will be registered with our chosen Deposit Protection Service and a link to their website can be found HERE. You will sign a prescribed information document at the outset of your tenancy which will detail all relevant information about where your deposit is held and how you claim it back at the end of your tenancy. We will also provide a registration document once the deposit has been registered with the DPS which needs to be within 30 days of the commencement of your tenancy.

Your deposit is refundable at the end of your tenancy. However, whilst most end of tenancies proceed without a dispute, occasionally disagreements arise and the Deposit Protection Service will adjudicate to resolve the issue.

Your Tenancy Agreement.

In most instances, your Tenancy Agreement will be an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST).

This is an important and legally binding document so it is important that you read it thoroughly and fully understand everything within it, as it helps to protect both you and your landlord in the unlikely event there is an issue during your tenancy. You will be provided with a draft tenancy agreement and all relevant certificates prior to your tenancy commencing.

Before signing your agreement, please talk to us if there is anything you don't fully understand.

Ready to start the search for your new rental home?

Talk to our friendly and helpful lettings team today or register for property alerts HERE.

We look forward to handing over the keys to your new rental home very soon.

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