3 Tips For Renting A Property

If you’re looking to move into a rented property, whether as a first time or a seasoned and experienced tenant, there are lots of things to take into account. To make sure your renting experience is as smooth as possible, here are a few tips to bear in mind.

Know your rights and responsibilities

Even before you go out looking for properties to let, you need to get to grips with your rights and responsibilities as a tenant. It will make knowing what you should and shouldn’t do a lot easier and can help you if you have any issues with your landlord.

When you sign a contract, these should be clearly laid out in your tenancy agreement, so it is vital that you read it very carefully before signing it. If you don’t understand it, ask your landlord or letting agent to explain it. Some of the basics rights that you are afforded to include living in a property that is safe and in a good state of repair, that any maintenance issues are dealt with promptly and that you are protected from unfair rent fees and eviction. You also have the right to have your deposit paid into a government-approved tenancy deposit scheme.

You do have responsibilities as well. You need to make sure that your rent and any other bills are paid for in full and on time, and that you look after the property, reporting any damage or any issues quickly so they can be sorted. You are also under an obligation to allow your landlord or someone acting on his behalf to carry out inspections of the property, as long as they give you a minimum of 24 hours notice.  If you don’t hold up your end of the bargain, you could find yourself in a mess and may lose all or part of your deposit, and even be evicted from the property – something no one wants!

Check the inventory and take a meter reading

One of the very first tasks you should do when you move into a new property, even before you stick the kettle on, is to check it against the inventory and take a meter reading. You need to take a gas and electric reading straight away and pass it onto the utility suppliers as soon as possible.  This will make sure that you are not paying for energy that the previous tenants used.

If you aren’t given an inventory, it might be a good idea to make one yourself and get it signed by an independent witness. Take time and date stamped photos of the property, particularly if there are any areas of damage or wear and tear, and send it to your landlord or agent. This may seem like a bit of hassle but may save your deposit in the future.

Get insurance

It’s a good idea to make sure you have the appropriate contents insurance in place. While you don’t need to worry about insuring the structure of the house, you need to protect your belongings from damage, theft, and fire. You might want to look into taking out tenancy liability cover if you are liable for any damage caused to furniture, fixtures, and fittings provided by your landlord.

This is a collaborative post.