What to do if you are a Tenant

publication date: Nov 30, 2011
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books

What to do if you are a Tenant

How to Rent a Property

If you are tenant, you really need to make sure you are ‘first choice' for landlords. To do this you should be ready to pass referencing and credit checks a landlord or letting agent will require to let the property to you. This means getting letters back quickly from employers to confirm your employment and salary, making sure any credit checks don't highlight any financial problems in the past, and securing a letter of recommendation from your previous landlord if you have one.

Once you have passed the referencing stage, it is vital to have a deposit ready to be paid over to the landlord or letting agent as soon as they confirm you can have the property.

BUT! Beware of Rogue Landlords

There are many laws in place to protect you as tenants from rogue landlords, but unless you ask the right questions, you could be at their mercy!

NEVER rent a property from a landlord or letting agent without:-

  1. Proof that the landlord owns the property 
  2. Evidence the mortgage company has approved the property to be rented
  3. Copies of at least a gas safety certificate (ideally an electrical safety certificate too) 
  4. Copy of an Energy Performance Certificate (this will tell you whether it'll be warm in winter or freezing!)
  5. Understanding and evidence of which tenancy deposit scheme the landlord or letting agent will protect your deposit monies in.

If you do rent a property without any of the above checks, then you are potentially supporting rogue landlords in your area as they will be renting the property to you illegally in some way shape or form. This could put you in danger if the electrics and gas aren't safe and could mean when winter kicks in you end up freezing or having massive utility bills.

Finally, risking renting a property from a landlord who claims they don't need a deposit and so don't protect it is typically false from a legal perspective unless they are using an insurance scheme.

READ MORE What's happening to Rents Winter 2011 and What to do if you are a Landlord

Also read our article, 15 Ways to Spot a Fake Landlord!


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