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Ten Tips For Tenants

  1. Always make sure you get a written receipt for your deposit.

  2. Make sure that you get a detailed inventory, if possible with photographs of the condition of the property (and its garden if there is one). Make sure it is dated, and that the landlord agrees it with you.

  3. Make sure you get sight of a copy of the Gas Safety Certificate before you start the tenancy. DO NOT move in if there is not a Gas Safety Certificate. The landlord will be acting illegally, and you may die if the gas fire is defective.

  4. If the landlord has agreed to carry out certain repairs, make sure you list these in writing and agree completion dates for the works. Agree with the landlord that you can do the work yourself and deduct the cost from future rent if the deadlines are substantially broken.

  5. Make a note of the readings of gas, electric and water meters as you take the property.

  6. If you have pets, make sure you get written permission from the landlord. It is quite normal for the landlord to require another 2 weeks deposit from you to cover damage to the property, as well as asking you to pay for 2 lots of flea treatment. One would be when you leave, and another 3 months later to deal with any larvae that hatch later.

  7. Do not take on a property that appears to have damp. It may injure your health.

  8. Be present at the check out with the landlord. The landlord is not allowed to then 'discover' other problems after the final check out.

  9. Always make sure the landlord is using a Tenancy lease agreement (AST) that has a 'PLAIN ENGLISH' Crystal mark. This will mean that the agreement is written in a way you can understand. Follow the link below to download our free AST.

  10. It is a good idea to take out your own insurance to cover your belongings against theft and damage.

Free AST Tenancy Agreement document

Click here for a free Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement, approved by the Residential Landlords Association in consultation with the Office of Fair Trading and the Plain English Campaign.

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Whilst the Residential Landlords Association, the producers of this Tenancy Agreement, represents Landlords' interests, we do advocate professional and fair terms and insist that our Members adhere to a code of practice that respects tenant rights. If your landlord is a member of the RLA, we also have a formal complaints procedure and ALWAYS give a fair, unbiased view of any grievance against a member.