Renting a property is a big commitment and it is helpful to have some guidelines and general advice on what to do and what not to do to make your tenancy as successful as possible. Only Landlords belonging to approved local Landlords Associations can advertise through letslet.net which means that you can be confident your rental will be professionally managed.
This guide covers many of the key areas of your tenancy:
A sucessful tenancy should include a positive relationship between landlord and tenant.
Landlords consider it essential to properly vet prospective tenants to protect their property, But it is equally important that prospective tenants know what to expect from their future landlord and home. It is a good idea to start any new tenancy on the right foot; most people do not move home very often so viewing a new property can be an anxious experience.
Making a good impression:
Be punctual. Your landlord may have a number of appointments to view the property so may not appreciate being kept waiting.
Be honest. It is far better to be upfront about your circumstances now, than try to resolve a problem later.
Be prepared to provide references. If you decide that you like the property it will be much easier to secure it if you can quickly provide proof of identity and references.
Don't be afraid to ask if you are uncertain about anything about the tenancy, or the property. A professional landlord will be understanding and happy to answer your questions .
Questions your landlord should be able to answer:
What is the rent, what is included and when is it due? Many landlords will expect you to set up a standing order to pay the rent on a certain day every week or month. This is easy to do and can save time and effort.
Is there a deposit and how will it be protected? Most landlords will require a deposit against possible damage to the property. It is usually approximately equivalent to one month’s rent and is returnable at the end of the tenancy if no issues arise. Since April 2007 any deposit taken against an Assured Short hold Tenancy (the default tenancy in England and Wales) must be registered with one of three government recognised schemes. Any reputable landlord should be able to tell you which scheme they plan to use.
How long is the tenancy and what happens at the end? Most tenancies will be for six or twelve months, but may be allowed to continue after this if there have been no problems during the fixed term.
What about repairs and maintenance? Landlords have a responsibility to maintain the fabric of their property and certain facilities. Tenants are normally responsible for maintaing decoration and furnishings in good condition during their tenancy. If there is outside space, such a garden, it is a good idea to check who will be responsible for this as it may vary from property to property. The Landlord should also be able to tell you how you could contact them about repairs and how repairs would be organised.
Can I see the Energy Performance Certificate? An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a document outlining the energy efficiency rating of a property according to an independent assessor. Certificates are valid for ten years and are legally required for property marketed ‘to let’.
Is there an inventory? While not a legal requirement a thorough inventory of the condition and contents of the property agree by landlord and tenants is very useful for the avoidance of doubt and potential disputes in the future.
Is there a gas safety certificate? If the property has gas appliances or heating the landlord must have an annual gas safety check, conducted by an engineer registered with ‘Gas Safe Register’. A copy of the certificate must be made available to tenants by law.
I have children/pets/I smoke Some properties are unsuitable for children and pets and some landlords do not allow smoking inside the property especially if it is furnished, so if you fall into any of these categories it is best to discuss it with the landlord upfront.
More Useful Information
Help with your rent If you are on a low income or unemployed you may be able to claim Local Housing Allowance (this replaced housing benefit) towards your rental costs. The amount awarded is a standard allowence depending on your local area and circumstances rather than the property you intend to rent and is allocated based on the number of bedrooms you qualify for.