Guide for tenants

We would love to help you find a new place to call home

Search for a property

Heywoods is the leading independent estate agent in the Newcastle-under-Lyme area and beyond. Our reach extends throughout North Staffordshire to South Cheshire and the Shropshire border.

Guide for tenants

We would love to help you find a new place to call home

We have an ever changing selection of property available to rent

Our properties are constantly in high demand so contact us as soon as you see a property you like: our clients’ properties don’t stay on the market for long!

It is important you decide upon a budget and a list of ‘must haves’ – this will help you tailor your search to find what you are looking for.

What’s your price range?

Knowing this will help you to decide which price bracket to consider.

When do I want to move into the property?

Work backwards from there and start your property search about 6 to 8 weeks before then.

Here are some common questions we are regularly asked to help explain what happens next:

Applying for a tenancy

What do you need from me?

When you apply we will usually ask you for:

  • employer’s details (or accountant’s details if you’re self-employed)
  • current landlord or agents’ details
  • salary details
  • national insurance number
  • previous addresses
  • ID and proof of address
Payments due

I know how much I have to pay for the rent. What else do I need to budget for?

Reserving the property

In order to reserve a property whilst we conduct the necessary checks and referencing procedures, you will be asked for a holding fee. However, if you decide not to rent the property or your references are unsatisfactory, we cannot return your reservation fee.

You will need to show proof of your ‘Right to Rent’ under the immigration act.

Administration & holding fee

This covers the cost of referencing – checking your credit status, previous employer, current or past landlords, and any other information to help assess the affordability of your tenancy application. The usual fee, £250 inc VAT, also includes drawing up a Tenancy Agreement and protecting your security deposit with The Deposit Protection Service. The fee is for one applicant. If there are two or more applicants for the same property, the fee is then £150 inc VAT per applicant.

We are an ARLA registered letting agent which means you will receive a statement detailing these costs when you make payment of your reservation fee.

You will need to show proof of your ‘Right to Rent’ under the immigration act.


The deposit we ask depends on whether the property is furnished or unfurnished, the landlord’s requirements and whether you have pets.

The deposit is due in cleared in full into our Client Account before the day you sign your tenancy agreement.

The deposit is held as the landlord’s cover for any excessive damages that need to be repaired at the end of the tenancy.

Subsequent months’ rent

Depending on the service your landlord has chosen, we will tell you whether to pay subsequent months’ rent to our Client Account or directly to your landlord. This will be due on the same day each month as you signed your Tenancy Agreement.

Do I pay the utility bills and council tax on top of the rent?

As a tenant you will usually be required to pay for all utility bills including council tax and water. It is important that you include this in your budget when identifying your price range.

Our role

What is the role of the letting agent, Heywoods, and what do they do for me as a tenant?

Heywoods act as an agent for the landlord. As a tenant, because we are ARLA registered, you can expect that we will always follow best practice rules. Therefore you will benefit as well as the landlord.

Who does what?

Who do I deal with?

We can arrange viewings, vet references and draw up agreements before you move into the property. If the landlord is using us to fully manage the property, it is us that you will deal with once you move into the property should you have any questions or concerns. If the landlord manages the property, you will be able to direct any questions directly to them.

On the day of the move

Do you take an inventory on the day of the move?

On your moving-in day, you’ll be given an extensive inventory including photos of the property. This is a mutually agreed ‘snapshot’ of the property’s condition at the time of move-in, so that we can assess any degradation or damages when you move out.

You have seven days to make any necessary amendments and then agree the contents of the inventory.

Know where you stand

How do I know who is responsible for what?

Depending on the property, responsibilities may vary slightly, but we find that generally…

The landlord is usually responsible for:

  • insuring the property against fire, flood etc
  • repair and maintenance of the pipes, hot water and heating systems, and the electricity system
  • repair of any appliances included with the property
  • service charges for flats, including electricity in the communal areas, cleaning and maintenance to the building structure.

The tenant is usually responsible for:

  • all utility bills (electricity, gas and water) and council tax
  • bills for telephone, broadband and Sky or cable TV if you want these (if not already installed you’ll need the landlord’s permission)
  • insuring your contents and possessions in the property
  • repair of your own appliances
  • keeping the property in good clean condition
  • reporting any defects to us or the landlord
Checking out

What happens at the end of the tenancy?

An inventory clerk will take care of the ‘check out’ when you leave the property. They’ll look at the inventory made at the start of the tenancy and compare it the current condition of the property and any contents.

Your deposit will be returned within 10 days of the tenancy expiring as long as there are no dilapidations or discrepancies.

Your landlord may choose to withhold some of your deposit if there are any dilapidations to the property or any fixtures/fittings, in order to cover the costs. In most cases, you’ll agree between you the amount to be withheld and we’ll assist when necessary. You’ll then receive the agreed amount of your deposit. If you can’t reach an agreement with your landlord, we’ll give you details of what to do next and the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) will act as an independent arbiter.

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