So, you’ve finally found a property you want to rent and now it’s time to sign the tenancy, pay your deposit and pick up the keys. Here’s a few things you’ll need to think about during the process.The Deposit
You can ask your landlord to put your deposit into a secure tenancy scheme. In fact, if you have an assured tenancy then it is the landlord’s legal duty.
There are three tenancy deposit schemes and each of them has its own website. You can choose from:
By using one of these schemes your money is protected even if there is a dispute. Each scheme provides a mediation service which will look at the evidence should there be a dispute. They will then award the money to whomever they believe is in the right.The Tenancy
Read your tenancy carefully before you sign it. If you think you might end the tenancy early check there is provision for this. It is called a ‘break clause’ and it will set out the conditions you need to meet to end the tenancy before the end of the agreement.The Inventory
Your landlord should provide you with an inventory. Go through it carefully and check that each item is in the property. Take photographs when you first move in of the condition of the décor and the furnishings.Certification
Your landlord, or the agent must also give you a Gas Safety Certificate on an annual basis. Another certificate you should have is the Energy Performance Certificate. This will tell you how energy efficient your new home is and give you tips and advice about making energy saving improvements.Landlord Responsibilities
Your landlord must keep the property in good condition and deal with any repairs promptly. A smoke alarm should be fitted on each floor and a carbon monoxide detector where there is a coal or wood fire.Tenant Responsibilities
As a tenant you must make sure that your rent is paid on time. If you don’t, you are breaking the tenancy agreement and your landlord can ask you to leave the property.
You should also make regular checks on appliances that use gas and electricity and make sure they work correctly. Anything that doesn’t work should be reported to the landlord or the agent immediately. Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors regularly.
You shouldn’t take in another person to lodge with you or sub-let the property without permission from your landlord.When the Tenancy Ends
You can create a new tenancy. You can also carry on living at the property and paying rent without a tenancy agreement, but this means that the landlord can give you 2 months’ notice to quit or you can leave by giving a months’ notice. If you choose to stay with or without a tenancy agreement, your landlord can increase the rent once the old tenancy agreement ends.