Tenants Guide

Tenants Guide | Paul Lee & Company

A guide to renting a property through us.

If your tenancy is due to start on or after 1 June 2019 different fees will apply. Please contact our office for more information.

How do I find property to rent?

If you would like information on suitable properties or would like to discuss your requirements please contact us, by telephone or email.

Register your requirements with Paul Lee and Company

You can register by either giving us your contact details and requirements, which we will match to our current property list and our multi listing database. We have close relationships with all the major letting agents in the area, and can access the majority of properties on the market at any one time. By pressing the  "Property To Let" tab, viewing our list of properties and registering your interest in particular properties. It is important that you tell us as much as possible about your budget and the type of property required - this avoids wasting your valuable time viewing unsuitable properties.

You will be able to view our flats and houses we have to let in detail with multiple photographs, floor plans and maps showing locations. You can also get details of local area facilities including local schools.


We have seen all the properties we are marketing. We only list quality properties, we will not take instructions on properties which are sub-standard! All viewings are always accompanied, we can meet you at our office or at the property to suit your needs

Viewings can be arranged for any weekday (9.00 am - 6.00 pm Monday to Friday) and can also be arranged on Saturdays (between 10.00 am - 1.00 pm). We can accommodate viewings outside of our normal office hours if a daytime viewing is not possible. All viewings are subject to any restrictions from current tenants or landlords. We like to give current tenants 24 hours prior notice and please bear in mind that properties can be viewed much more successfully in daylight hours.


Once you have found a property that you would like rent we will put forward the terms of your offer to the Landlord. All offers following agreement of the terms, remain Subject to Contract and Satisfactory References , until the signing and dating of the tenancy agreement by both Landlord and Tenant, and the receipt of satisfactory references.

If your offer is accepted you will be asked to pay a Reservation Fee which is the equivalent to one weeks rent and the Tenancy Set up Fee. The Reservation Fee will be refunded to you at the commencement of the tenancy but not including the Tenancy Set up Fee (by means of deduction from the monies due as stated on the tenant statement see below Tenant Expenses Involved ) or in the event that the Landlord decides for any reason not to proceed. Should you change your mind about moving into the property, or the tenancy cannot proceed because your references are not forthcoming or prove unsatisfactory, this sum will be retained by Paul Lee & Company.

Tenant Expenses involved

After negotiations have been completed and the terms of the tenancy are agreed the following payments will be required:

  • An initial rent payment in advance either calendar monthly or quarterly (based on the calculation of the agreed weekly rent multiplied by 52 weeks and divided by 12 months to equal the calendar monthly rent. The monthly rent if applicable is then multiplied by 3 to equal the quarterly rent)
  • A tenancy deposit equal to six weeks if no pets or equal to eight weeks rent with pets of the agreed rent, i.e. £400.00 per week multiplied by 6 equals £2,400.00
  • A Tenancy Set up Fee of £85.00, inclusive of VAT charged per Tenant, as a one time cost for the entire term of the tenancy to include any tenancy renewals.  The Tenancy Set up Fee includes the cost of referencing (identity, immigration and visa confirmation, financial credit checks, obtaining references from current or previous employers /  Landlords and any other relevant information to assess affordability) as well as contract negotiation (amending and agreeing terms), arranging the tenancy, the provision of the tenancy agreement, associated tenancy documents and the protection of the tenancy deposit with the TDS (please refer to the Deposit heading below). Please note, the tenancy deposit does not form part of the agent's fees.
  • If the Landlord pays for and supplies you with a professional inventory report at the commencement of the tenancy, the Tenant agrees to then pay for the inventory check out at the end of the tenancy.  The current cost for check outs, charged by the inventory company that we use is £102.00 inclusive of VAT for a one bedroom property, £114.00 inclusive of VAT for a two bedroom property,  £126.00 inclusive of VAT for a three bedroom property, £180.00 inclusive of VAT for a four bedroom property and £234.00 inclusive of VAT for a five bedroom property.  Please note, we do not request an additional agent fee on top of this charge.
  • Please note, if the property we have found you is through another Letting Agent then they will confirm to you their Tenancy Set up Fee and charges.

The initial monies paid must be in cleared funds, the first payment is payable by bank transfer BACS or CHAPS and thereafter payments should be made by bank standing order. Please note that VAT is charged at the prevailing rate. VAT Reg. No: 719 0206 57.


If the tenancy is going to be in your name then we will require the following references, which must be addressed to us, and we must be in receipt of the originals prior to you taking possession of the property:

  • For each Tenant references and credit check provided by a specialist tenant referencing service we will supply the applications forms for you to complete
  • An employer's reference, Bank reference for which your bank will charge their own fee to you as their customer
  • Previous Landlord or managing agent, Solicitor and/or Accountant
  • Or a character reference from a professional person (not a relative).

All references will be sent to the Landlord for approval prior to the commencement of the tenancy. Please contact your referees to let them know the need for an immediate response.

Right to Rent Checks, under Section 22 of The Immigration Act 2014 the law introduces from 1st February 2016, a requirement for all Landlords of private rental accommodation in England to determine whether occupiers have the right to live in the UK legally by carrying out Right to Rent checks before a new tenancy agreement is granted. This applies to All adult occupants aged 18 and over with tenancy agreements starting on or after 1st February 2016, that they intend to occupy as their only or main home.

For proof of your identity, you will asked to visit our office for us to take copies for our records of your current passport, visa documents, National ID card or photo card driving licence as applicable,  together with a current proof of address (utility/council tax bill or bank statement) if you are resident in the UK.

Acceptable documents (some examples), for a Landlord to check include:

  • A UK passport showing the holder is a British citizen.
  • A passport or national identity card showing the holder is a national of the EEA (European Economic Area), or Switzerland.
  • A registration certificate or document to certify or indicate permanent residence issued by the Home Office to a national of a European Union, European Economic Area country or Switzerland.
  • A permanent residence card, indefinite leave to remain, indefinite leave to enter or no time limit card issued by the Home Office to a non-EEA national who is a family member of an EEA or Swiss national.
  • A current immigration status document containing a photograph issued by the Home Office with an endorsement indicating that the named person is permitted to stay indefinitely in the UK.
  • A certificate of registration or naturalisation as a British citizen.

Additional documents may be required; a full list and more information is available here: https://www.gov.uk/check-tenant-right-to-rent-documents


In some cases where a guarantor required reply is received or the above references are unobtainable, the Landlord may be willing to accept a Guarantor. The Guarantor will have to sign the tenancy agreement and will be acting as security. The Guarantor also will be liable for all the terms contained therein. It will be necessary to take up references on the Guarantor.

Company Lettings

  • In the event that your employer is undertaking the tenancy on your behalf, we will require references from the following:
  • References and credit check provided by a specialist tenant referencing service we will supply the applications forms for both you and your employer to complete
  • The company bankers, Solicitors, Accountants and Trade references.
  • A copy of the Annual Report may need to be supplied and/or a company search may be carried out.

Written confirmation from an authorised representative of the company will be required to confirm that you are the proposed occupants and the status of your employment.

Tenancy Agreements

The tenancy agreement forms a legally binding contract between the Landlord and the Tenant and both parties have to abide by the terms and conditions of the tenancy agreement. Please read the tenancy agreement carefully and make sure you understand the clauses contained therein. Whilst we will be happy to explain the tenancy agreement to you, if you have any queries you should consult a solicitor.

In the main there are two forms of tenancy:

Private Tenant

If the tenancy is to be in your own name or names, the type of agreement you are likely to enter into is a Housing Act tenancy called an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (known as an AST). The property must be your main or principal home. Normally the term is for a year with or without a break clause effective after the first six months by serving two months notice to quit (so a minimum of 8 months). If the rent exceeds £1,923.08 per week - £100,000.00 per annum the tenancy agreement can not be an AST it will be a Law of Contract (common law) Agreement which is non Housing Act tenancy this is also the case if the landlord is a resident landlord or the tenant has another main and principal home.

Company Let

If your employer is undertaking the tenancy on your behalf, an agreement is drawn up that identifies the company as the Tenant and you as the occupant. The agreement must be signed by an authorised signatory of the company, which cannot be the occupant. We will require written confirmation to this effect.

Stamp Duty Land Tax

As from 1st December 2003, the liability for paying any Duty due, and for completing and submitting the relevant declaration form (SDLT1 and SDLT4) to the HM Revenue & Customs will be the Tenants - as that is the person to whom the tenancy/lease is granted. (This is the equivalent to the purchaser being liable to pay stamp duty when they buy a property).

Neither a Landlord nor an Agent has a liability for SDLT, or for submitting the declaration forms.

To find out how much Stamp Duty you would be required to pay, please contact Paul Lee & Company, who will advise you of the amount. The figure is based on a computation known as Net Present Value (NPV) which includes a discount percentage (the Temporal Discount Rate) set out in the Finance Act. If the NPV computation provides a figure in excess of £125,000 then SDLT is due to be paid based upon 1% of the difference between £125,000 and the NPV amount. Where the NPV amount is less than £125,000 then no SDLT is due. ( There are different arrangements for "Premium Leases" and the calculation of SDLT on these can be explained if required ).


Rental payments are usually due calendar monthly or quarterly in advance in accordance with your tenancy agreement. These payments should be by bank standing order. It is imperative that the payments are issued by the Tenant whose name is on the agreement and cleared funds are received by the due date.


This is held for the duration of the tenancy and is equal to six weeks rent. It is used to offset any costs, which may be incurred as a result of damages, dilapidations, or any breaches of contract during the term of the tenancy. Normally as the Agent we hold the deposit and it is held as Stakeholder in the Paul Lee & Company Clients Account. Depending on the type of tenancy agreement and current Housing Act legislation a Landlord or his Solicitor can also hold the deposit. We would like to advise you of some new legislation that the government is implementing under the Housing Act 2004. The Act imposes new obligations on Landlords and Agents when accepting tenancy deposits with regards to residential lettings.

From the 6 th April 2007 the Tenancy Deposit Scheme legislation (TDS) comes in to effect in England & Wales. The TDS will provide protection to both Tenants and Landlords entering in to an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) Agreement (Housing Act Tenancy) by offering an independent means of dispute resolution. All AST's that commence on or after 6 th April 2007 or all AST's that commenced before the 6 th April 2007 and are renewed/extended for a further fixed term are affected by the legislation.

Paul Lee & Company as existing ARLA Propertymark  members have joined the Tenancy Deposit Scheme for Regulated Agents (TDS) which is an insured scheme run by The Dispute Service for Letting Agents. www.tenancydepositscheme.com They are one of the three scheme administrators appointed by the Government. The other two schemes are the insured scheme run by Tenancy Deposits Solutions Limited (TDSL) for private Landlords sponsored by the National Landlords Association and the Custodial Scheme which is for those agents and landlords who do not or cannot join an insured scheme. The Custodial Scheme will be run by Computer Investor Services plc, know as Deposit Protection Service (DPS).


Any interest earned on monies that are held in the Paul Lee & Company Clients Account, will be retained by Paul Lee & Company.


Prior to the commencement of a tenancy, the Landlord or an independent professional inventory clerk will have prepared a detailed report. The report is referred to as an "inventory" and will not only include the condition of the décor but also list every item down to the last knife and fork. At your costs you may wish for the inventory clerk to be present when you move into the property to check the inventory with you. It is in your interest to check the inventory thoroughly in order to ensure discrepancies do not arise at a later date. You will be expected to sign a declaration confirming the condition of the property and all the items listed have been seen.


The terms of the tenancy require the Tenant to transfer into their names and pay for the electricity, gas, telephone charges and water. It is important that you contact the utility companies at least five working days prior to the commencement of tenancy to avoid the services being disconnected. You may be required to pay a deposit to the utility companies if you have not been a previous customer.

Council Tax

This is a local authority tax levied against the occupants of residential premises. It is a legal requirement for you to advise the local authority of your occupancy and to pay the sum demanded. Charges are assessed according to the status and number of occupants in each property.

Television Licence

It is the Tenants responsibility to register for a television licence and pay the licence fee for any television set in the property. Non-payment of this fee is an offence and carries a large fine.


The Landlord is responsible under the terms of the tenancy agreement to provide buildings and contents insurance; he is not liable for your own possessions.


Animals are not normally allowed in rented accommodation mainly due to building lease restrictions.  If you wish to keep a pet, you must advise us, as special permission must be sought, however this may be not granted. If a pet is allowed you will be asked to pay an additional two weeks rent to be added to the deposit.

Property Management

Paul Lee & Company may have found you your new home, but may not be managing the property during the term of the tenancy. You will be informed as to who will be managing the property at the commencement of the tenancy. When Paul Lee & Company act as managing agents any problems you have relating to the property must be reported to us immediately. This will ensure that the matter is dealt with in line with the Landlord's instructions.

Renewal & Termination of the Tenancy

Towards the end of your tenancy Paul Lee & Company will contact you to ascertain your future requirements. Should you wish to renew the tenancy we will contact the Landlord on your behalf and negotiate terms. If you intend to vacate at the term end, an inventory checkout will be arranged the cost of which is paid for by the Tenants. You will be advised when the inventory clerk will do the checkout report and what is expected of you prior to their visit. The property and garden (if any) should be ready to hand over in a professionally cleaned and tidy state. We make this point as costs can be incurred if it is necessary for us or the Landlord to employ the services of professional cleaners and gardeners. All keys must be given to the inventory clerk at the time of the checkout and you will have no further access to the property. You must ensure that all utility accounts, council tax and television licence charges are paid up to date (the end of the tenancy date) and the accounts are closed in your name.

It is hoped that all the above information will assist you in moving home, however should you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact us.

All information is provided in good faith. It does not replace the advice of a qualified legal advisor/Solicitor.

Paul Lee & Company is an ARLA Propertymark Member.

Client Money Protection (CMP) provided by: ARLA – Association of Residential Letting Agents.

Independent Redress provided by: TPO – The Property Ombudsman.


If you have any further questions, or want to register, please contact us here