Finding a property to rent in Brighton & Hove
If you’re looking to rent a flat or house in Hove or Brighton, the quickest way is often to first choose the areas that do and don’t interest you. Think about what you’d want close at hand, like a station, the beach, bars or buses. If you’re not familiar with the city’s different areas, look at our Brighton & Hove Area Guide. Remember to register your details with us so we can let you know when something suitable comes up.
Furnished or unfurnished?
Unfurnished is generally preferable to most tenants as most people will be bringing their own stuff. For a furnished property, the level of furnishing varies between one property and another, but most often it means there are basics like a table and chairs (if there is space), beds, wardrobes and perhaps a sofa. Either way, all the soft furnishings will have been approved as fire-safe. Learn more about a landlord’s responsibilities for your safety, see our FAQs section.
Viewing a property
On the viewing, it’s worth turning up a few minutes beforehand to get a feeling for the area that you are considering making your home. Once inside the property, think about what is going to go where, whether there is enough storage space for your needs. Check out exactly what’s included and what isn’t – which appliances, furniture and so on.
Starting a tenancy
Once you’ve chosen the property you’d like to rent, we will agree this in principle with the landlord and ask you for a holding deposit which ensures we no longer market the property to any other applicants, and agree a proposed moving-in date with you.We will then ask you for various items of information and references, which can take up to two weeks to complete.
What happens on moving in day
Once all your references have been received and are satisfactory, we’ll arrange for you to come to the office on the day of moving in, you will then need to, pay the balance of any deposit, pay the first month’s rent in advance, pay our administration fees of £180 inc. vat per adult (this covers the cost of preparing the tenancy agreements and taking up references. It also covers your check-out costs, which some agents charge extra for) read and sign the tenancy agreement.
What is the inventory?
When you first move into a property, we arrange for an inventory, which is an independent record of the condition of the property in every detail, the goods that are in the property and their condition.
This minimises any disagreements between the landlord and the tenants over the condition that the property has been left in, and helps prevent any disputes that could arise.
What is the landlord responsible for?
Again this varies slightly on some properties, but generally speaking…
The landlord is usually responsible for, insuring the property against flood, fire and so on, repairs and maintenance to the hot water and heating system, electricity and pipes (this does not mean they will change lightbulbs for you!), repair of any appliances that were included with the property, if it’s a flat, any service charges (for maintenance to the structure of the building), cleaning and electricity in the communal areas.
What is tenant each responsible for?
The tenant is usually responsible fall bills for electricity and gas (if present), water, council tax, telephone, broadband or cable TV if you want these, insuring your own possessions in the property, repair of any appliances that the tenant has had installed, keeping the property clean and in good condition and informing the landlord or us about any defects.
Repairs and maintenance to the property
The landlord is usually responsible for the hot water, heating system, pipes, electricity (but they won’t change lightbulbs for you!), the structure of the building, ie walls, roof ans any appliances that were included with the property
Since 2007, all deposits must be protected by one of the Tenancy Deposit Schemes licensed by the government, which provides an independent means of resolving any dispute that may arise between tenant and landlord and also means that landlords cannot unfairly hold on to tenants’ deposits.
Deposits are protected by a licensed organisation, which safeguards Tenancy Deposits against rogue landlords, tenants, and agents.Should there be any breakages or damage to the property, both parties have an independent means of agreeing how the cost should be apportioned.
before you move in
holding deposit | equivalent of 1 weeks’ rent
The holding deposit is, by agreement, allocated toward to your first months’ rent, in accordance with the Tenant Fees Act 2019. The holding deposit is refundable in some circumstances, please enquire for further information.
For tenancies commencing after 1st June 2019 where a request is received from the Tenant, for a variation, assignment or novation of the Tenancy Agreement, a charge of £50 inclusive of VAT will apply, per instance
In the event of lost keys, the cost of replacement (or change of locks if required), is payable by the Tenant
Where rent is outstanding, interest will be charged on monies overdue, in accordance with the Tenant Fees Act 2019.
If your Tenancy started before 1st June 2019, please refer to your Tenancy Agreement for further information on applicable fees and charges.
faqs for tenants
what references and checks do you carry out?
When you have found a property you’d like to rent, we will ask you for a few things.
- From all applicants we ask for:
- two forms of identification
- reference from a previous landlord, or
- if you have not rented previously recently, we will usually ask you for a guarantor
- a reference (status enquiry) from your bank or an ‘Equifax’ credit search
- If you are working, we will ask for:
- a reference from your employer
- If you are in new employment, we may also ask for:
- a guarantor or previous employment references
- If you are self-employed we will:
- ask to see your most recent business accounts or request an accountant’s reference
- we may request a guarantor where there is no accounts history
- If you are a student we will need:
- a letter from your college or uni to confirm you are a student there
- a guarantor who guarantees the rent will be paid
NOTE: all applications to rent a property are subject to the final approval of the landlord.
once i've found a property i like, how soon can i move in?
Once you’ve found a property you like, we will agree a proposed moving-in date with you, this date will be subject to when the property is available and to allow time for the references and credit checks to be carried out.
how does the holding deposit work?
The holding deposit will be the equivalent of 1 weeks’ rent, which will contribute toward the first months’ rent. Once paid, we’ll suspend marketing of the property and reserve it for you, subject to references and contract.
The next payments are usually as follows, but please refer to your paperwork which will confirm the details for your specific tenancy:
- Within 30 days of securing the property, or seven days before the tenancy start date (whichever is sooner), you’ll need to settle the balance of the first months’ rent
- Within 30 days of the tenancy start date, you’ll need to settle the damage deposit and any advance rent payable
- If you subsequently withdraw your application (either one or all tenants), you’ll forfeit the holding deposit paid in full
what costs am i responsible for during the tenancy?
As the tenant you are usually responsible for:
- all bills for electricity and gas (if present), water, and council tax
- bills for telephone, broadband or cable TV if you want these
- insuring your own possessions in the property
- repair of any appliances that the tenant has had installed
- keeping the property clean and in good condition
is there a charge if i decide to stay in the property at the end of the tenancy?
If your tenancy started after 1st June 2019, you will not pay a fee to renew your tenancy, in accordance with the Tenant Fees Act 2019. If your Tenancy started before this date, please refer to your Tenancy Agreement for information on any fees applicable to your Tenancy.
what does 'furnished' really mean?
For a furnished property, the level of furnishing varies between one property and another, but most often it means there are basics like a table and chairs (if there is space), beds, wardrobes and perhaps a sofa. It very rarely means that you get everything right down to teaspoons, but it can happen.
Either way, all the soft furnishings will have been approved as fire-safe, and the gas appliances will have been checked and approved before a tenancy can begin.
how do I pay my rent?
The first month’s rent is paid at the start of the tenancy, payment can be made in advance by bank transfer or by debit card on the day, before we can let you have access to the property.
Further months’ rent should be paid by standing order either to your landlord or to us, and you will be given details of which to do at the start of the tenancy.
what happens if there is a problem with my property?
The landlord is usually responsible for:
- the hot water, heating system, pipes, electricity (but they won’t change lightbulbs for you!)
- the structure of the building, ie walls, roof
- any appliances that were included with the property
If the problem is with one of these items, then either call Brand Vaughan or your landlord – depending on which of our services your landlord has opted for, which you will have been told at the beginning of the tenancy.
If the problems is with something else, it will normally be up to you to sort it out, although if it is causing damage or sufferance to the property you should again call Brand Vaughan
how do i get my deposit back when i move out?
When you come to leave the property, an inventory clerk will come to do the ‘check out’, comparing the condition of the property and any contents to the inventory made at the start of the tenancy.
If the inventory identifies that dilapidations have occurred during your tenancy, your landlord may choose to withhold some of your deposit to cover the costs. In most cases, the amount to be withheld will be agreed between the tenant and the landlord, assisted by Brand Vaughan where necessary, and the balance will be returned to you.
what if i disagree with the amount of deposit that my landlord is withholding?
If you cannot agree with your landlord over the amount withheld to cover dilapidations, the dispute will be dealt with by The Dispute Service (TDS), an independent body approved by the government to adjudicate disputed deposits. By law all disputed deposits have to be dealt with in this way.
Money protection regulation from 1 April 2019
The Propertymark Client Money Protection (CMP) Scheme reimburses landlords, tenants and other clients should an agent misappropriate their rent, deposit or other client funds.
We want to raise standards in the industry and to protect consumers and the Client Money Protection Scheme is an integral part of this. That is why it’s mandatory for all agents to have CMP in place due to handling client money.