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Lettings FAQs

 

Knight Frank lettings frequently asked questions

We have developed a series of videos to answer any letting questions or queries you may have. Feel free to browse below, and hopefully you can gain some extra clarity as to what to expect before, after and during the letting process with Knight Frank or somebody else.

 

 

The process begins by arranging a market appraisal at a time with yourselves, where we will run through the property details and gather as much information as we can, and find out your motivation behind wanting to market the property. We will also advise on the best way that we can maximise the value for yourself

When you instruct Knight Frank we agree on the rental price and the date that the property is available from, how and when you would like us to conduct viewings. We would also need a couple of documents to complete our ‘know your client’, our terms of business would need to be signed and we would need an EPC or exemption.

Before we start marketing your property we’d arrange for a professional photographer to attend to take photos and floor-plans, if you don’t have an EPC already we would need to obtain and EPC which would need to be a rating of E or above or have an exemption.

Knight Frank will organise all the viewings and we will accompany the applicants to each viewing. We will keep you posted throughout the process, so if there’s anything that we feel needs to be changed, or modifications that can be made to help then we would advise you of that, and would also provide feedback on a regular basis as well.

Once you receive an offer on your property, we will provide the full offer details to yourself. We will negotiate with the tenant on your behalf as well, and if this offer is accepted we will take a reservation payment from the tenant.

Once the offer has been accepted we will prepare the draft tenancy agreement, which we will send over to yourself and the tenant. We will also start the referencing process, once we have the confirmation from yourself and the tenant that you are happy with the contract we will send the final version to be signed. We will also send over the reference report for your approval, we will collect the initial money and do the right to rent on the tenant.

Your responsibilities as a landlord are that the property complies with current regulations, such as gas and electrical safety, fire and furnishing, smoke and carbon dioxide alarms, curtains and blinds, licencing and tax.

We will organise the move in on your behalf, we will arrange an inventory and check in that will take place on the first day of the tenancy. Once that is completed, the keys will be handed over to the tenant. If we are managing the property, this is when our property manager will step in and help with any maintenance and queries. If you are managing the property yourself, we will provide the contact details of the tenant to you.

You make an offer by completing a prospective tenancy form, where we will ask you additional information, such as who lives in the property, offer amount, start date of the tenancy, length of tenancy and any additional requests. Once an offer has been agreed, we will take a holding fee which will contribute to the final moving money.

The next steps involved are introducing you to our tenancy progression team who will send you a copy of the tenancy agreement. They will also send you a referencing link. The referencing process entails us confirming your income, obtaining a previous landlord reference, conducting a right to rent check, and any other further checks required.

If you believe your referencing is going to fail, it’s important to contact us as soon as possible, as there may be an alternative option such as adding a guarantor to your application, or paying your rent in advance.

A right to rent check involves you visiting one of our offices, no more than 28 days prior to starting your tenancy, with your passport to prove that you have the right to rent in the UK.

The keys will be released to you once we receive the remainder final move in money, a tenancy agreement has been signed, and all other tenancy agreements completed, and we’ve received all the compliance documents from the landlord; such as a valid gas safety certificate. We will then schedule for an inventory to take place, once it has been completed, we will send this document over to you as well as all tenancy documents.

The process from making an offer to moving in can be as quick as three working days, with the help from yourself to complete references, sign all tenancy documentation, as well as the property being available by that particular date. If your starter tenancy is more than three working days from the offer agreed date, we will make sure that we complete the paperwork as soon as possible.

Once you move into the property, and if the property is managed by Knight Frank, we will ask our property manager to introduce themselves to you, should you have any problems during the tenancy. If the property is managed by a landlord, or a third-party property management company, we will pass these details onto you.

The most common emergencies are: fire, criminal matters, uncontrollable leaks and gas leaks. If you do have a fire or a criminal matter, please contact 999, if you smell gas, please contact national grid who will send out an emergency contractor to attend and talk you through the next steps. If you have a leak in your apartment from your apartment, please contact us as soon as possible. If the leak is from the apartment above, please knock on the apartment above and ask them to stop using the water related equipment. Please then notify your property manager as soon as possible.

For minor maintenance issues we are authorised by the landlord to instruct the work. The contractor will then contact you directly, to arrange access at a convenient time to you, if you are happy then can collect keys from our office. Please rest-assured know that they are vetted, and have their insurances and qualifications in place. For more expensive landlord issues, we will require approval. There could be a delay here due to the location of the landlord or for the landlord to request further quotes. Once we have approval, we will then request funds from the landlord, and once we have funds on account, we can then instruct the contractor who will contact you again for access. Please remember that we at Knight Frank do not own these properties, we do always require landlord instruction.

On some occasions a tenant would be asked to pay for the contractor invoice, such as if the kitchen sink was blocked, and it was blocked due to the tenant’s actions such as putting down food-waste or fat down the drain, the tenant would be asked to pay for the contractor invoice for any labour and parts required to rectify the issue. Outside the business hours, we have a dedicated contractor who will be there to help in emergencies. You can find their details on our welcome letter, or on our answerphones, or out of office. You will be provided with user manuals, if you could please have a read through these, this will resolve any maintenance issues if they’re minor, so no need for a contractor to attend. If you do have any problems, please call your property manager who will be happy to talk through any issues with you over the telephone.

If your boiler is not working it could be a simple fix, such as topping up the pressure. Your property manager will be able to talk you through this over the telephone. For more serious matters, please contact your property manager who will instruct a gas engineer to attend.

To clear the filters in your washing machine or tumbler dryer, please refer to their user manual, which will show you the steps in how to clear those filters. If you do require any further help, please contact your property manager, who will be happy to talk you through this over the telephone.

In order to end a tenancy, you just have to contact your property manager who will be able to run through the process with you as per the tenancy agreement. We will then book an inventory clerk to come and do the check out on the last day of your tenancy, and the clerk will be in touch with you directly to book a suitable time.

You are responsible for leaving the property as you found it, so in good condition with the allowance for general wear and tear. You are also contractionary obliged to have things done like cleaning, and informing utility companies when you’re moving out.

After the checkout, we will email you and the landlord the checkout report, and we will also update the utility providers with the final meter readings, so they can send you a final bill.

In order to get your deposit back, an agreement needs to be reached between yourself and the landlord, unless the landlord has given us confirmation they’re not looking to make any deductions, in which case you will receive your deposit back in full. If there are any dilapidations such as cleaning or damages, we will list these, send them to the landlord to approve and will then forward them on to you to agree.

If there is a disagreement between yourself and the landlord, and you have an assured short-hold tenancy, either one of you can refer this to the TDS. The TDS will ask us to send them the disputed funds and they will hold that until the report has been completed. The TDS will investigate, create a report which is binding, and then release the money. If the tenancy is not an assured short-hold tenancy, your property manager will be able to explain the process to you.

Once an agreement has been reached between you and the landlord, you will receive the money within 10 working days.

If Knight Frank do not manage the property, the processes are slightly different but we will be happy to explain them to you.

Three months prior to the end of the tenancy, Knight Frank will contact the tenant to see if they would like to renew, a section 21 notice will also be issued, if the tenancy is an assured short-hold tenancy. This is just in case the tenancy is not renewed two months prior to the end of the tenancy. However, if the tenant or landlord don’t wish to renew the tenancy, we will let the front office know and an end tenancy co-ordinator will be in touch in due-course.

If the tenant would like to renew their tenancy, Knight Frank will contact the landlord just to confirm that they too are happy to renew the tenancy. However, the tenant may have an option to renew, if the tenant does have the option to renew, all the information will be specified in the tenancy agreement; there may be a built-in rent increase and there will be a date that the tenant needs to notify Knight Frank by.

Knight Frank will act on behalf of both landlord and tenant, once the tenant has notified us that they would like to renew the tenancy. The renewals team will contact the manager of the office to get an update on market conditions. We will then negotiate between landlord and tenant until an agreement has been made. However, if there are going to be any changes to who is living at the property, at this point you will need to let Knight Frank know.

The tenant and landlord do not need to sign a new tenancy agreement. However, an addendum will need to be signed, which is a 3-4-page document which is an extension of the existing tenancy agreement. It will have the updated terms such as any break clauses, rent increase and length. We won’t be able to execute the addendum, until we have got an updated right-to-rent check and a valid EPC certificate.

If the time-limited visa has expired, prior to the start of the renewal, then the tenant will need to go to a Knight Frank office, with their visa and passport in person so the Knight Frank office can carry out any necessary checks.