Being a tenant in Brighton & Hove

Bishop Sullivan believes that people come first in property. We treat everybody the way we would like to be treated and aim to build relationships during a Tenancy, whether that is with the Landlord, Tenant or contractors. We use digital signing for documents making it easy to sign anywhere in the world, have a low emissions set up for the business (and we are working on our suppliers now) and also provide an app for everyone to use during the Tenancy. It is a great resource for anything relating to the property or Tenancy as well as reporting maintenance in or out of hours. Our Tenants really like the last bit.

How to rent guide

Once you have found a property that matches your requirements it’s good idea to be certain it is within budget before making an offer. Please use our helpful Affordability Calculator to see what your individual or combined (if sharing) salary needs to be monthly rent x 12 = annual rent x 2.5 = salary required to pass referencing Good to go? Call Bishop Sullivan and we will ask you to confirm:

  • When you are looking to move in?
  • How long you are looking to stay?
  • What rent you are looking to pay and what your annual salary is?
  • If you need a Guarantor you will be asked to confirm his/her income also.


Bishop Sullivan will contact the Landlord and once agreed will need all Tenants to sign an Application Fee letter confirming the offer and also take a Holding Deposit by transfer to remove the property from the market. Holding Deposit – maximum of 1 week’s rent.

It is important to note that is the tenant provides false or misleading information; they fail a right to rent check; they withdraw from the agreement; or fail to take reasonable steps to enter an agreement the Holding Deposit may not be refunded. Following the Right to Rent Act we will need to sight and copy each Tenant’s passport in person in the office. Finally, following the anti-Money Laundering Regs 2007 we will need proof of address (photo driving license, posted bank statement, posted utility bill or posted council tax statement) from within the last three months. This can be photocopied in the office, stamped and copied at a post office or stamped and copied by a solicitor, then posted to Bishop Sullivan. Students will need to provide a letter from your college or uni confirming your place there.

We will then send you a link to our referencing agencies website. Their form takes about 5 minutes to complete, it is important to do this as quickly as possible as most applications take at least 48 hours to complete. Please be advised that it can take much longer if your employer and/or Landlord do not respond quickly.

The agency will require information on:

  • Your employer.
  • Your accountant if self-employed.
  • Your Landlord.


You may require a Guarantor if you:

  • Are in the probationary period at work.
  • Are self-employed and do not have a full year’s accounting history.
  • Do not have any previous renting history.
  • Are a student.


A Guarantor must earn 3 x the annual rent to pass referencing.

Once you have passed referencing we will call you to advise on the next steps, usually this is at least 5 working days before the move in date. Before you are able to move in we will require by transfer:

  • Rent in advance (usually 1 month)
  • 5 weeks deposit
  • Less Holding Deposit – maximum 1 week’s rent
  • Read and signed Tenancy Agreement
  • Read and signed Guarantor Agreement (if relevant)
  • Proof a standing order has been set up (usually a screen grab or confirmation email will suffice)


We will also need to follow the Right to Rent process to sight and copy proof you have the right to reside in the UK (EG passport, BRP card, share code if EU). Once we have the above we will arrange a suitable check-in time at the property for you

On the agreed date/time you will meet the inventory clerk at the property. Due to Covid preventive measures they will run through the inventory outside the property, 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.

You will be required to sign a declaration form to say that you agree with its findings before keys are handed to you. If for any reason you are not happy please call Bishop Sullivan immediately and we will assist you. It is essential that you are not late for the agreed check-in time. Failure to arrive on time can result in a delayed move in. After you have moved in Bishop Sullivan will email you copies of all relevant documents for your safekeeping.

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 (not light bulbs sadly, that’s your job).
  • Repair of any appliances that were included with the property.
  • If it is a flat, any service charges (for maintenance to the structure of the building (roof, exterior walls, windows etc), cleaning and electricity in the communal areas.


The Tenant is 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.
  • Informing the landlord or the managing agent about any defects or maintenance issues.


There are three services that Bishop Sullivan provide to our Landlords:

  • Managed
    Where you pay rent to Bishop Sullivan and also call us if there is a maintenance issue
    For Managed tenants who have a maintenance issue please contact the office on +44 (0)1273 646426 or in work hours, or Done & Dusted on +44 (0)7805 569727 for out of hours emergencies. Be advised a non-emergency call-out may be classed as a Tenant liability, please refer to the What is Maintenance sheet emailed after your move if unsure.
  • Rent Collection
    Where you pay rent to Bishop Sullivan and call the Landlord if there is a maintenance issue
  • Introduction
    Where you pay rent to the Landlord and also call him/her if there is a maintenance issue


Bishop Sullivan will make you fully aware which service the property is on and provide you with the relevant contact details before you move in. Towards the end of your fixed term Bishop Sullivan will contact you to check if you would like to remain in the property for a further term.

As per the Tenancy Agreement one month’s notice will be required on or before a rent due date to terminate the Tenancy at the end of the fixed term. Please take note to ensure you do this correctly, we are always happy to help if you need assistance. A check-out will be booked for the vacate date and a fee will be due to Bishop Sullivan. The inventory clerk will use the same inventory as the start of the Tenancy.

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.
  • means that Landlords cannot unfairly hold on to tenants deposits.
  • gives all parties confidence that deposits are protected by a licensed organisation, which safeguards Tenancy Deposits against rogue Landlords, Tenants, and Agents. 

At the start of the Tenancy, the Landlord and the Tenant are given details on the deposit return process as well as a deposit certificate. Should there be any breakages or damage to the property, both parties have an independent means of agreeing how the cost should be apportioned. Where Bishop Sullivan is providing a Fully Managed service to the Landlord we will liaise between Landlord and Tenant to agree deductions (if any) whilst ensuring that government guidelines are adhered to. Occasionally we may provide this service for Landlords on the Part-Managed or Tenant Introduction service. Otherwise you will need to agree to deductions (if any) directly with your Landlord.

Deductions cannot be taken from the deposit unless both parties agree. Where there is a dispute over a suggested deduction Tenants can use the dispute service for adjudication. Bishop Sullivan will provide full details on how to carry this out in the unlikely event it occurs.

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