Renting Property Guide - Why renting without using experts can leave you penniless and homeless!

publication date: Jul 15, 2010
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books

Renting Property Guide

Why renting without using experts can leave you penniless and homeless!

With the enormous growth in the number of people renting a property rather than buying, there is a increasing problem with many tenants not asking key questions of landlords and/or letting agents prior to handing over any money.

Sadly, despite the previous government introducing some excellent legislation to protect tenants, many of them either have no idea about the rules and regulations that have been introduced or worse still, few bother to carry out any checks on their landlord or letting agent.

Kate Faulkner, Managing Director of independent advice website Designs on Property says “I am increasingly worried about the lack of education, time and effort that tenants take when finding a property to rent”. Kate also warns that the internet, although great for research can mean tenants are prey to criminal activity and scams.

The most recent was a property which was rented to three different people via the website Gumtree. All paid the deposits in cash only to find out that the people didn’t own the property in the first place! “This is a classic example of tenants not doing their due diligence” says Kate “I feel bad that they’ve been let down, but all tenants need to do is ask a few questions and carry out simple checks at the start of their search and then they can avoid rental rogues.”

Examples of questions that tenants should ask include:-

1.      Can I see proof of ownership of the property?

2.      Do you have a copy of the Energy Performance Certificate for this property?

3.      Is there a current gas and electric safety certificate(s) for the home?

4.      Which tenancy deposit scheme will my deposit be held in?

5.      Do you (be it a landlord or tenant) belong to any professional organisations?

Checks that can be made include checking to see if landlords are currently paid up members of the National Landlord Association or the Residential Landlord Association. If they are a letting agent, check they are members of National Approved Lettings Scheme and/or Association of Residential Letting Agents. Ideally they should also be members of The Property Ombudsman Scheme too so that if you have any problems, there is an independent third party to complain to.

Kate concludes “If tenants carry out simple checks and ask a few questions, and if the good landlords and letting agents ensure they show tenants their credentials, rental horrors would be few and far between!”.

Kate Faulkner runs Designs on Property, giving no nonsense, independent advice and answering your property questions for FREE.

Before you undertake any property project, SPEND a BIT of money on our INDEPENDENT, EXPERT PROPERTY PACKS, so you save yourself TIME and MONEY on your property project. We don't just send you a pack, once you've bought one, we also help you every step of the way via email and telephone support!

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For free information and independent help on renting property, take a look at the following tips and articles:-

Top Tips for Tenants

10 Ways to be the Best Tenant!

Top Five Tenant Responsibilities to Your Landlord

The Importance of an Inventory

Are you a first time renter or need help with your tenancy agreement? Then contact us at or tel 0845 838 1763 for independent answers.

Need help with a property problem? Have a question? Why not call Designs on Property on 07585 897128 or Contact Us via email.
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