Sit down and make a list of features that are important to you when looking for a rental period. Things to think about are:
• Date you want to move in (especially important if you have been served notice on the home you are currently living in)
• Where you would be willing to live
• What your maximum budget each month is for your rent (Remember not too stretch yourself too thin)
• What features are essential to you in a property (i.e. number of bedrooms, if you need a garage etc.)
• What features you would prefer but are willing to sacrifice if needed
Do a little bit of research about which lettings agents you would prefer to deal with. Don’t forget that you will have to deal with this agent for the entirety of your tenancy, so it is wise to do your due diligence. So check what all of their fees are (not just the initial fee but also fees that you may be liable for when you are living in your new home), and do a little research about what the agent is like to deal with. Check Google reviews, social media sites or simply ask friends and family. You may not be able to find out much about a good agent, but you will definitely hear about it if they aren’t so good! Also, check that the estate agent is a member of a redress scheme, so if you do have any problems you can be reassured that you are a little more protected. Always go and see a house, or ask someone to view it on your behalf, before you decide to rent it. Never put down a deposit or pay rent down on a property you have never seen. If you are renting directly from a landlord, ensure that you have conducted some basic checks. At the very least, make sure you have met the landlord to ensure that they are legitimate. You could also check with Land Registry that the landlord actually owns the property. There is nothing wrong with being a little cautious.
A standard tenancy agreement and inventory are usually quite long, and you are often given them in an awkward and pressurised situation. Here at Lannisters, we will email you the tenancy agreement at least 48 hours before you move in to ensure that you have time to read through it properly. If you don’t have this luxury however, make sure you stop and read it properly. Point out anything you don’t understand, is unexpected or you simply don’t agree with. If you agree any changes to the tenancy agreement, don’t sign the original one. Make sure you wait for the changes to be made.
When you receive the keys, do a walk-around of the property with the inventory before you start moving your belongings in. Take pictures of any faults, with a time stamp, and make sure you report the discrepancies immediately. This will help protect you and your deposit when you move out. Here at Lannister Homes, if you have discrepancies then we will only accept them for the first 7 days of your tenancy. After this, your original inventory is deemed to be correct.
Once you have moved in the landlord or agent must add your deposit to an accredited deposit scheme within 30 days. This is a legal obligation. Make sure they have done this and that they have sent you a ‘certificate of validation.’ It is illegal for them not to do this and may affect your ability to get your deposit back at the end of tenancy without seeking legal advice. Step Six Enjoy your new home! While you are restricted with what you can and cannot do, in terms of decorating, it is still your home. Look after it, but don’t forget to enjoy it!