Renting from Private Landlords

How to rent from private landlords

The Process

Call up or send a message to the landlord using your Portico log in. Our team will check your enquiry and tell you which times work best to arrange a viewing

Check out the property on your viewing, and if you like it make the landlord an offer via your Portico dashboard

Once you've agreed the offer with the landlord, pay the holding deposit of 1 week's rent. This is refundable if the landlord pulls out. The next step is to provide some information so the landlord can check you can afford the property

Once the referencing and credit check are done, we'll prepare a tenancy agreement for you to sign digitally. If you have a guarantor, they need to sign it too

The next step is to transfer the property deposit and first month's rent. We'll refund your holding deposit at this point too. We recommend this is done via our online dashboard

The landlord will meet you on move-in day and give you the keys. It is also a good idea to get a check in report done to record the state of the property on the day you arrived

How to find private landlords

It can sometimes be hard to find property advertised directly by private landlords, because advertising on Rightmove and Zoopla is usually only possible by going through a traditional estate agent. At Portico Direct, we connect tenants with private landlords, by helping landlords get access to the major portals by offering a cost effective online letting service.

Tenants can use our platform to find houses and flats to rent directly from private landlords, without having to go through a traditional high street agent. The entire process of finding and securing a property to rent is done online, making it easier for tenants and providing more transparency.

There are no associated admin fees for a tenant using Portico Direct, and you can get started looking for private landlords to rent from right away.

How to find privately rented properties

To find suitable houses to rent, use Portico Direct. We list all our properties to rent, whether they're from private landlords or through our full property management service. You will be able to distinguish between the two as the properties to rent from private landlords will say 'Portico Direct'.

How is the process different when using an online lettings agent?

To find suitable houses to rent, use Portico Direct. We list all our properties to rent, whether they're from private landlords or through our full property management service. You will be able to distinguish between the two as the properties to rent from private landlords will say 'Portico Direct'.

Portico Facts

  • Take a friend with you on the viewing
    Online estate agents don't meet landlords in person, and whilst we perform a series of checks on all landlords, it's wise to be cautious when meeting a landlord for the first time. If you are planning to rent the properties with housemates or a partner, take them with you. If not, take a friend with you.
  • Check the property is owned by the landlord
    Once you've done your viewing and you would like to make an offer, it's wise to make sure that the landlord is the legal owner of the property. You can verify this by looking this up on the land registry website. Whilst it would be difficult for someone who isn't the property owner to be in possession of the keys, it is possible that the person doing the viewing could be letting it without the owner's consent or even sub-letting it. Ask the landlord lots of questions that he or she should know the answer to – where's the stop cock?, what council tax band is the property?, what's the best local café? If they struggle with any of these questions, or something doesn't stack up, please report it to us.
  • Don't make any payments directly to the landlord
    There are only three payments that the landlord can ask for before the tenant moves in: the holding deposit, the property deposit and (normally) the first month's rent. We strongly advise that all of these amounts should be paid via the Portico Direct system, and not directly to the landlord. Once we've received the funds, we don't release them to the landlord until 7 – 10 days after the tenant has moved in. This is to ensure that the tenant has got the keys and moved in successfully, and has had a chance to flag any major issues. It goes without saying that the holding deposit, property deposit or rent should never be paid in cash.
  • Ask the landlord to use the Portico Direct standardised documents
    All tenancies require a tenancy agreement with the correct prescribed information and a deposit registration certificate. We encourage landlords to use our standard documents which have been written with both the landlord and tenant in mind. If a landlord would like to use his or her own agreement, check it carefully to make sure it fairly documents what you have agreed. If you are not sure, insist on using the Portico Direct template.
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