1. RESEARCH THE AREA.
Think about the area before you move in. Is it near a hospital? If so, can you hear ambulances all the time? Is it near a noisy pub? Check all the surroundings before you sign. “It is up the tenant to do their own research and inspect the dwelling and surrounding area before they sign the agreement and move in,” James Plunkett, head of consumer research at Citizens Advice, tells BuzzFeed Life.
2. DISCUSS PETS EARLY.
“Bring up pets early in negotiations with your prospective landlord,” Plunkett says.
“If the landlord does not want pets at the address, then the tenant should look elsewhere. Having a pet in breach of a tenancy agreement that prohibits pets will generally lead to a possession action and eviction further down the line.”
3. CHECK OUT THE WHITE GOODS.
Inspect the white goods (fridge, freezer, washing machine, cooker, microwave, dishwasher, etc), and report any defects as soon as you move in, Plunkett advises.”If white goods are included in the inventory on the agreement, then the tenant should visually inspect them and get the landlord to confirm in writing that they all work satisfactorily,” he says.”The tenant should seek clarification in writing as to whether the landlord agrees to repair or replace said items if they break down.”
“Responsibility will be determined purely by evidence of what has been agreed between the parties so it’s important to get these agreements in writing.”
4. DON’T FORGET TO CHECK THE WATER PRESSURE TOO.
When you first inspect a property, run the taps and the shower.
If there’s a problem with the water pressure, you can negotiate with the landlord before signing the agreement.
“If the tenant does not comprehensively inspect the property before entering into the agreement, they may not be able to resolve these problems later,” Plunkett warns – although in some cases inadequate water pressure may fall within the landlord’s legal obligations.
5. FIND OUT IF YOUR CONTRACT CONTAINS A RELEASE CLAUSE.
There are two things to look out for here:
A break clause means a “fixed-term tenancy can be ended at 6 months”, Plunkett explains. However, it’s important to check out the specific wording of the clause to see the conditions: “For example, that there are no existing rent arrears when the tenant wants to activate the clause.” A release clause runs along similar lines, but might involve the tenant “paying a fee to release themselves from the agreement at any time”, Plunkett says. It also usually means that the tenant has to find someone to replace them, as well as paying the fee.
Learn More About Renting Here: 18 Things You Need To Know Before Renting A House