Even before you start searching for a property to rent, it's important to understand the legal aspects of being a tenant.
When you become a tenant, you take on certain responsibilities in exchange for certain rights. Your tenancy agreement will typically be 4-5 pages long and very detailed. It lists your responsibilities so read it carefully. As a minimum, it will show:.
In most cases, you'll be asked to pay a deposit. Get a receipt for it and carry out checks to make sure you are fully satisfied that your deposit is protected by a Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme.
The deposit will usually be equal to around four weeks' rent. You pay it to the landlord or agent and they can keep some or all of it if you cause damage to the property (beyond fair wear and tear)
If you have an Assured Shorthold Tenancy in England and Wales, which started on or after 6th April 2007 where a deposit was taken, that deposit must be protected in one of the government approved Tenancy Deposit Protection Schemes (TDP).
The deposit is administered by the scheme throughout the tenancy and will be returned in full shortly after the end of the tenancy, providing the property is returned in the same condition as you found it at the start of the tenancy. Usually, no interest is paid on the deposit.
If, at the end of the tenancy you feel that your deposit has been withheld unfairly, the organiser of the TDS can step in and sort out disputes with your landlord.
For the latest information on Tenancy Deposit Protection Schemes, visit the Direct Gov website.
Your rights as a tenant
You have a right to quiet enjoyment of the property and your landlord must give at least 24 hours notice if they want access (except in an emergency). Most lettings agents inspect a property quarterly to check everything is in order.
The landlord must also:
If you would like some assistance to find your perfect property/sell or let your property please contact Right Estate Agents on 0845 026 8527 or visit our website.