Ready to rent? How do you get started?

Posted on Tuesday, July 9, 2019

It’s a momentous step to move into your first rental property. Whether you’re studying, moving in with a partner or making a different big life change, there’s lots of things to consider. You may be looking to downsize or move into a new area, so renting can give you flexibility. 

Our blog looks at what you need to know before you start renting.

Check your tenancy agreement

Make sure you understand your tenancy agreement, including the minimum duration of your tenancy, whether it’s fixed term and the amount of notice you are required to give when you want to move out. 

According to Which?, the tenacy agreement must contain

  • Your name, your landlord's name and the address of the property which is being let
  • The date the tenancy starts
  • The duration of the tenancy from the start to the agreed finish date
  • The amount of rent payable, how often it should be paid, when it should be paid and when it can be legally increased
  • What payments are expected, including council tax, utilities and service charges
  • What services your landlord will provide, such as maintenance of common areas
  • Whether any other bills/charges are included in the cost of your rent, such as council tax or water rates
  • The notice period which you and your landlord need to give each other if the tenancy is to be terminated

Get some insurance

Your landlord will cover the building insurance, but you must make sure to get some contents insurance to protect your possessions. 

Make sure Your Deposit Has Been Protected 

Your landlord has to put your deposit into a protection scheme within 30 days of getting it. Ask for full details of the scheme and all the information you require to get it back. 

Review your inventory

Make sure you check the inventory form your landlord fully. This will include all the furnishings and detail any pre-existing damage. When you leave the property, it’s this inventory that the landlord will use, so it’s useful for getting your deposit back.

Report Repairs

Your landlord is responsible for repairs on your property including electricity and wiring, gas, pipes, and boilers, heating and hot water and plumbing. You should also report any structural damage and anything related to common areas such as entryways.

What do you need to do?

As a tenant, your responsibilities are to pay your rent on time and pay other bills such as council tax, utilities (including water), TV licence and telephone/broadband.

You must also keep the property secure and tell your landlord when things need fixing. Basic maintenance such as changing light bulbs or smoke alarm batteries is your responsibility. 

If you looking to starting renting, or if you are thinking of becoming a landlord, contact us today.