First time tenant guide

Tenant Application Process

  • Read your written tenancy agreement carefully to understand your rights and responsibilities.
    • If you have any concerns about the agreement, seek advice before you sign.
  • Agree an inventory (or check-in report) with your landlord and, as an extra safeguard, make sure that you take photos. This will make things easier if there is a dispute about the deposit at the end of the tenancy.
    • If you are happy with the inventory, sign it and keep a copy.
  • Remember to take meter readings when you move in.
    • This will help make sure you don’t pay for the previous tenant’s bills.
  • Make sure that you have the correct contact details for the landlord or agent and you keep them handy. These should be given to you.

Documents Your Landlord or Agent Must Provide:

There are a number of documents that your Landlord or Agent must provide you with at the start of your tenancy, by law. Use the below list as a checklist, and make sure you do receive a copy of each.

  • A copy of the guide 'How to rent'. 
    • This guide is only applicable to tenants in England.
  • A gas safety certificate.
    • The landlord must provide one each year, if there is a gas installation.
  • Deposit paperwork.
    • If you have provided a deposit, the landlord must protect it in a government approved scheme. Make sure you get the official information from the scheme, and that you understand how to get your money back at the end of the tenancy. Keep this information safe as you will need it later.
  • The Energy Performance Certificate.
    • This will affect your energy bills and the landlord must provide one (except for Houses in Multiple Occupation). If your landlord doesn’t provide these, they can’t evict you until they do.
  •  A record of any electrical inspections.
    • All appliances must be safe and checks every 5 years are recommended.

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