We know that looking for property can sometimes be a little daunting and so we've put together a list of dos and dont's to help you along the way!
You should do this..
- Check the agent displays the 'SafeAgent' kitemark. This proves they have client money protection insurance which protects your money if they go out of business.
- Make sure the agent is a member of a professional body such as UKALA or the Property Ombudsman.
- Is the agent clear about their fees and charges? Agents in Scotland are not allowed to charge tenant fees.
- Check your own credit report for free with Experian before the agent credit checks you.
- Ask for a written tenancy agreement, never accept a tenancy verbally.
- Agree an inventory with your landlord at the start of the tenancy. This will make things easier if there is a dispute over the return of the deposit at the end of the tenancy.
- Check that your deposit is protected in one of the five government - authorised Tenancy Deposit Protection schemes.
- Ask to see a gas safety certificate if there are gas appliances.
- Ask to see the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) – this shows you the energy performance of the property which will have an impact on the gas and electricity bills.
- Ask the landlord whether there is a record of any electrical inspections. This is not a legal requirement but the landlord does have a duty to keep electrical installations in proper working order and safe.
- Look after the property and keep it in a good condition. You have a duty of care to use the property in a responsible way and keep to the terms of the tenancy agreement.
- Ask the landlord to install and maintain a smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector.
- Make sure you arrange contents insurance as the landlord's insurance will not cover your own possessions.
- Pay your rent on time – your landlord may decide to seek possession of the property if you fail to pay your rent.
You shouldn't do this...
- Stop paying rent if something goes wrong – your landlord can seek possession of the property on grounds of non-payment of rent and you could be evicted.
- Be a nuisance to the neighbours – your landlord can seek possession of the property on the grounds of anti-social behaviour and you could be evicted.
- Leave problems to fester – speak to your landlord at an early stage and if relationships break down contact your local authority who may be able to mediate for you.
- Do repairs to the property without permission from your landlord.
- Sub-let the property unless you have permission from your landlord.
We hope you have found this helpful and we wish you the best of luck with your search