Renting a new property can be stressful for everyone and sometimes it’s hard to fully understand complicated legislation. To make your move slightly easier, we’ve put together some useful tips to make sure you are informed about the latest renting legislation and know your rights as a tenant.
Before moving in: read, read, read!
It’s surprising how many people sign rental contracts without ever reading them. It is vital you read over the agreement and understand the key points. Never sign a contract that you’re not happy with, as this could mean you’re legally obliged to follow the contract.
Your deposit is a contentious issue. According to housing charity Shelter, one in five people who rent a property don’t know whether their deposit is protected. If you’re one of those people, then check now. If you live in England or Wales, under the law your landlord must place your deposit in a legally required accredited tenancy deposit scheme, which means that your deposit is protected. This will help ensure that you receive the full deposit back at the end of your tenancy, providing you meet the terms of the tenancy agreement.
It’s important to maintain a healthy relationship with your landlord. However, it’s not just you as the tenant who has to adhere to certain rules and regulations – your landlord should too. Did you know that you have the right not to be disturbed? This means the landlord must give you at least 24 hours notice before visits and should maintain any appliances and furniture they have supplied throughout the tenancy.
Likewise, they are the ones that should carry out and pay for repairs to fixtures and fittings (like hot water systems). If your landlord wishes to evict you, they must give a minimum of 2 months notice of possession of the property.
When moving in, make it a priority to check that there is a gas safety certificate. Not only is this a legal requirement but it could also save your life. Double check your electrical appliances are all safety-checked and working. Although providing an electrical safety certificate is not a legal requirement, the landlord should ensure all the electrical equipment provided is safe. Also, remember to make sure that all fire and carbon monoxide alarms are fitted and working.
When you’re moving in to a new property, whether it’s an apartment in Cardiff Bay or a house in Penarth, the last thing on your mind will be moving out again. However during the moving process we suggest taking photos of the property especially if there are obvious marks and stains. This evidence will avoid discrepancies further down the line when you come to move out of the property and ensure that you receive your full deposit back.
We hope these tips help you whether you’re moving into a new property or in the middle of your tenancy. Remember – the key to having a safe and happy tenancy is to never sign anything you haven’t read or haven’t agreed to. And always read the small print!