You've finally found a property to rent and call your home.
Once you’ve sealed the deal and moved in, here’s our 10 top tips to enjoy a successful spell in your new accommodation...
If you’re handing over any cash to the landlord or agent, make sure your deposit will be protected in a government-approved scheme. Some insure the money, other schemes hold on to it. Either way, it should give you peace of mind that your money’s safe.
Children, smoking and pets are three of the biggest things that most landlords want to know about. Some will allow them, others won’t. If you’re renting a flat in a shared complex, it’s also a good idea to ask about things like where to keep bikes or whose responsibility it is to deal with any rubbish and recycling.
It’s always wise to check everything on the day you move in so that you can flag any items you’re unhappy with and get them sorted. Also ensure you are happy with the property inventory. Landlords and agents usually allow up to 14 days for tenants to return these with any amendments, setting out an agreement over contents which come – and stay – with the property. This is very important when it comes to the return of your deposit in full at the end of your tenancy. Contents insurance is also essential if you want cover for your own possessions as the landlord’s insurance won’t provide protection.
Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors should be fitted by your landlord as standard, if the property has solid fuel appliances. But it’s always a good idea to check they’re installed (and working!) as they could save your life.
Should your home become unfit to live in because of an issue (escape of water, fire or infestation etc), tell your landlord or agent immediately so that they can resolve the problem. Landlords would prefer to know about issues sooner so they can rectify the problems and prevent further damage to the property in the future.
This is the number one thing any landlord wants from their tenant and, in our experience, it’s also the key to a successful long-term letting relationship. As you’d expect, don’t attempt any repairs or decorating without getting permission from your landlord first.
Check who’s responsible for paying the bills – water, gas, electricity and council tax – and make sure they’re settled on time. Usually, the tenant foots the bill so make sure you do or you might find yourself in financial trouble.
If you aren’t and the situation gets serious, you could end up being evicted for anti-social behaviour. Click here to read our noisy neighbours advice guide.
Sub-letting is usually not allowed under the terms of your tenancy agreement so it’s important to check this with your landlord or agent if this is a step you’re considering.
It might be obvious, but if you don’t do this you could find yourself without a home because you’ll have broken the terms of your tenancy agreement! Should you ever experience financial issues, we would advise letting your landlord or agent know so that they understand your position. Some may be willing to accept deferred or late payments if it helps ease your worries.
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