Row of cows at farm in Shropshire

Lettings for All – Part 2. Our Tenant’s Guide to Avoiding the Pitfalls

15/04/19Lettings for All – Part 2. Our Tenant’s Guide to Avoiding the Pitfalls

Renting is very much a two-way street and it’s important to keep the relationship between landlord and tenant a cordial one. There are several things worth knowing as a tenant and how you stand on various aspects of your tenancy agreement and the property itself.  

As a tenant you are obliged to always pay your rent on time. If you have a problem with complying, you should immediately discuss this with your landlord, as failure would be a breach of your tenancy agreement. This could lead to you losing your home. You must also pay all your bills when they are due. If you pay the utility bills yourself, you can choose the supplier if the landlord agrees. You must know how to operate the boiler and where the essential utility features of the building are positioned – the stop-tap for the water main, the electrical fuse box and any gas, electric or water meters. You should also check regularly, preferably monthly, that any smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working order.  

As a responsible tenant, you must be considerate towards your neighbours. If you are disruptive or noisy, you’ll be asked to vacate the premises. You’ll also need to take out contents insurance for your possessions, as the landlord’s cover won’t include those. It’s important to make sure that you look after your property, but any repairs or decorating must only be done with the landlord’s permission. Any defects with the property should be reported to the landlord or letting agency, for them to take care of. You must not sub-let any of the rooms in your accommodation or offices without your landlord’s permission – in the age of Airbnb this is so easy to do, but should not be considered without consent. 

Your landlord will provide you with a copy of ‘How to Rent: the Checklist for Renting in England’, which will include a great deal of detail on how to be a responsible tenant. But before you take on any kind of tenancy, it’s worthwhile to talk to our experts, who will be able to outline exactly what to expect from the experience.

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