Renting a Home

Many people rent a home, but complex disagreements can arise between the landlord and the tenant and spoil this otherwise exciting experience. However, with the right preparation you can reduce the likelihood of any problems when renting a home, and a solicitor can help you understand exactly what is expected from both you and your landlord before confirming your tenancy.

Choosing a property

You need to carefully consider what type of property you want and view any suitable properties to check that they do not have any problems. Once you have compared prices and which items will be available to you in the household, you should choose which property you would like to rent.

After you have decided, your prospective landlord will want to check that you are able to keep up with payments and that you have not been involved in major problems in the past. Once these necessary checks are complete and the landlord is satisfied, you can begin the negotiations.

Making an offer

You are now ready to submit an offer to the landlord along with any relevant documents such as your proof of identity. Once the offer is approved, a tenancy agreement will be made between you and the landlord. This contract can be verbal or written, but it is recommended to ask for a written one so that you have proof of the terms and conditions. Your solicitor will explain which of the multiple tenancy agreements is most suited to your demands. However, there are two types of tenancy agreement which are more common than any other; an assured tenancy, and an assured shorthold tenancy.

  • An assured tenancy gives you greater rights to stay when your tenancy is scheduled to end. This is used more commonly amongst landlords from the public-sector.
  • An assured shorthold tenancy does not give you the right to remain at the end of your tenancy if you are issued with a legitimate notice to leave. It usually lasts for at least six months but it can last longer if both parties want to extend it.

The tenancy agreement should cover a number of key issues such as rent costs, payment dates, tenancy length and restrictions. In order to avoid any unexpected problems, a solicitor should review the tenancy agreement and suggest changes to it before you give it to the landlord. It is recommended to check the condition of items in the house beforehand with the landlord so that you are more likely to receive your deposit at the end of your tenancy.

Securing a property

Placing a deposit is the final stage for securing your property. This is held in a government-approved deposit scheme for the entirety of your tenancy, in order to guard against the costs to repair any of your landlord’s possessions. It is normally equivalent to the first one or two months’ rent, and you will also be expected to pay the first month’s rent in advance. Once this is completed you will officially be renting a home.

Ending your tenancy

Your landlord will require two months’ notice if you would like to extend your tenancy, or vacate the property. After thoroughly cleaning the entire property, remove all personal belongings and hand in any keys before leaving. If the house is left in the same condition as when you started your tenancy, and all rent payments are complete, then there should be no problems in receiving your deposit back. In the event that you do experience complications receiving your deposit, you should contact your solicitor to discuss your options.