Renting has become an increasingly common alternative to property purchase and offers some attractive advantages. The most important benefit is flexibility, particularly the ability to relocate quickly and easily for employment. It can also be cheaper as it is the landlord who assumes all responsibility for maintaining the property. At the outset, you will need to have your finances in order, including the ability to pay the various up-front fees, together with references. The following guide sets out the steps to a successful tenancy.
The Tenancy Agreement
The most commonly used tenancy agreement is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy which is for a period of 6 or 12 months. Beyond this term, the tenancy becomes a periodic contract. The landlord is required to give 2 months’ notice to terminate the contract, and the tenant is required to give one month’s notice. The tenant’s responsibilities are laid out in the tenancy agreement and generally include the following:
- To keep the home clean, warm, free from damp and in good order inside and out.
- To promptly report any breakages or malfunctions.
- To attend to minor maintenance such as replacing smoke alarm batteries and light bulbs.
- To respect the rules of the tenancy regarding pets, smoking, sub-letting etc.
- To allow reasonable access to the landlord and his workmen.
- You will need to satisfy a credit reference check before the tenancy agreement can be affected. You will need to supply copies of references from your employer and previous landlord, bank details, proof of identification and address with postcode for the last three years.
Holding Deposit :£ one week’s rent
A non-refundable deposit paid by a Tenant in order to secure a property whilst the administration takes place. If the let proceeds, this fee is refunded or offset against the move in monies.
To Amend a Tenacy: £50.00
A charge made in order to administer a change to a tenancy including a replacement Tenant situation or early termination of a tenancy.
Usually, 5 weeks rent payable in advance. This should be held in a government-approved Tenancy Deposit Scheme. The deposit will be returned in full at the end of the tenancy agreement, providing there have been no damage or breakages. You will also be responsible for insuring your personal possessions, utility bills, telephone and broadband, council tax, T.V. licence and any other services you choose to subscribe to.
Ensure you have the contact details of the managing agent and/or the landlord in case of malfunction. Carefully check the details of the Inventory. If there is no inventory, make your own for your personal records. Check the landlord gas safety certificate and make sure the electrics are safe with manuals supplied. Take meter readings and inform the utility companies.
Make a note of the final meter readings.
Be present for the inventory check out. Your deposit should be returned in full providing the property is returned in the same condition as when you moved in. In the event of a dispute contact the deposit scheme administrator. Obtain a signature when you return your keys to the property.