You have identified a property and the landlord/letting agent are happy for you to move in. Below are some key points to remember before you sign your tenancy agreement and move into your new home.
Make sure that you have a copy of the gas safety certificate for the property. It is a requirement of your landlord that a gas safety check is completed annually so it is useful to know when it expires.
Make sure that you have read it fully and there are no hidden clauses or strange requests. Make sure that the rental amount is the amount you have agreed. If you are being assisted with a bond by the Local Authority we need to see it before you sign it and we can check it for you.
Type Of Tenancy
Assured Shorthold (AST)
These are usually fixed term for an initial period of 6 or 12 months.
This is a less secure tenancy to an AST.
Tenancy Start Date
Make sure that the date the tenancy starts suits you. You may find it easier to manage if this coincides with the date you get paid or the date you receive your benefits. You should receive your keys on the day your tenancy starts, the landlord cannot charge rent for a period when you do not have access to the property
Deposit/ Rent/ Fees
Ensure that if any money changes hands for a deposit, rent or fees a receipt is obtained which details what the money is for
Gas and Electric
Make sure you take the gas and electric meter readings on the date you move in
Ask who currently supplies that electric and/or gas to the property. If the landlord or agent is not sure then find the appropriate contact numbers.
Make sure that you have checked and agree with the condition of the property and items in it before you sign. If the landlord has not completed an inventory you could do your own and also take photographs. You can use our sample inventory
Make sure that you have the contact details for landlord and agent
Check with Severn Trent how your water is paid. If you have a water meter you will need to know where it is and if you are not able to give a reading request that someone attends the property and does this for you
Make sure that you have contacted and advised that you are the new tenant and made arrangements on how you will pay Council Tax
Deposit Protection Scheme
It is a legal requirement for Landlords to register any deposit taken in a deposit protection scheme. Make sure that this has happened and that your landlord gives you confirmation. You should receive written confirmation but if you don't find out which scheme your landlord has registered your deposit with and check online.
The landlord may ask you to sign to say they can speak to the council about your benefit
Make sure that you have all the documents required by housing benefit and hand them in with your completed housing benefit form and a proof or rent form as soon as possible. Make sure you obtain a receipt.
If you are unsure if you are entitled to any help from Housing Benefit to cover your rent, please check our benefits calculator
If you are concerned about the conduct of a landlord please visit our Report a Rogue Landlord Form to learn how to report concerns.
If you are concerned about the service you've received from a lettings agent, you can find further information at Theprs
Get our latest updates delivered to your inbox.
Sign up for Job Alerts, What's On, Latest News and more...