To get a competitive edge over other applicants, bring the following when you meet the landlord: a completed rental application: written references from landlords, employers, and colleagues; and a current copy of your credit report.
Review the Lease Carefully review all of the conditions of the tenancy before you sign on the dotted line.
Your lease or rental agreement may contain a provision that you find unacceptable - for example, restrictions on guests, pets, design alterations, or running a home business.
For help reviewing your lease or rental agreement, Holding Deposit If you are paying a "reservation" or "holding" deposit whilst your application for a tenancy is processed, make sure you get a receipt for your money.
This receipt should detail the circumstances under which you may, or may not, get your money back in the event of any problem being found with your application.
Arrange Advance Payment Remember that you may need to pay a minimum of 1 month`s rent in advance and a damages deposit bond in addition to any other charges due to the agent.
Make sure that you find out exactly what these amounts will be and arrange to have the amount available immediately in "cleared funds" (banker`s draft, cash, building society issued cheque) ready for you to use.
Get everything in writing To avoid disputes or misunderstandings with your landlord, get everything in writing.
Keep copies of any correspondence and follow up an oral agreement with a letter, setting out your understandings.
For example, if you ask your landlord to make repairs put your request in writing and keep a copy for yourself.
If the landlord agrees orally, send a letter confirming this.
Inventory When you first go into the property, check the contents and condition of the property carefully against the inventory (if there is one).
If anything is damaged or in poor condition, make sure you notify this to the landlord immediately in writing and keep a copy of the letter.
This will help you if you have any dispute regarding the damage deposit at the end of the tenancy.
Safety Regulations If there are any gas appliances in the property, your landlord must have these inspected by a CORGI registered plumber every year and give you a certificate confirming this, both when you go into the property and annually after that.
Make sure he does this.
If not, you can complain to your local Health and Safety Executive.
Privacy Rights Once you are in the property, you are entitled to live there without any interference from the landlord.
For example he is not entitled to enter the property without your permission.
The agent will want to make regular checks on the property.
Arrange a mutually convenient time for these checks and make a note of it.
Letting and Managing The agent will have certain obligations, varying from just letting the property to both letting and managing the property.
Make sure you find out exactly what the agent`s responsibilities are in relation to your property.
If they are only responsible for letting the building, find out who is responsible for managing and maintaining the property - get their contact details! Tenants Responsibility Responsibility for the property rests with you, the tenant.
You will be responsible for making sure the building is secure.
You will also need to report any gas or electrical problems.
If the property is leasehold, you may also be bound by any rules and regulations affecting all residents within the block contained in the head lease.
Eviction It is a criminal offence for your landlord to evict you other than by getting a possession order through the courts or to harass you or do anything likely to make you vacate the property.
You may also be entitled to an injunction and/or damages to compensate you if this happens.
End of Lease When you leave the property, make an appointment with the landlord or his agent to check over the property and its condition.
If there is any dispute regarding the repayment of the damage deposit, for example if you consider your landlord`s proposed deductions are unfair and your landlord will not negotiate, contact the scheme administrators of the tenancy deposit scheme used by your landlord and let them know.
You are entitled to ask that the dispute be referred to arbitration.
Do not delay in dealing with this as there may be a time limit.