Tenants are being urged to conduct their own research into properties prior to renting in a guide published by the TDS Charitable Foundation.
This guide aims to present all the information tenants may need, such as the responsibilities and rights of all parties. The handbook is the latest of reports by Kate Faulkner, a property specialist, supported by the TDS Charitable Foundation with the intention of raising the standards of the private renting sector and educating those involved.
The Guide to Renting
The information sets out the process of renting: providing tips and insights including checking the background of the landlord, check-out procedure, and any managing issues you need to know about.
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You would not buy a car before conducting research on it first, so why rent a property before doing the same? One important piece of advice for tenants is to check their agent is accredited by self-regulated bodies such as ARLA or RICS. Landlords should also ideally be members of RLA, a student accommodation scheme or other landlords’ association.
Tenants should view properties where the EPC can be inspected upfront, so they can get an idea of utility bill costs and also ensure that no damp is visible. Privately rented properties must have in-date gas safety certificates, and preferably carbon monoxide detectors.
Landlords must safely protect deposits in a legally recognised protection scheme, like TDS.
Lack of Regulation
In the private rental market laws are not regularly enforced, and governance and regulation is lacking. Tenants must spend more time reading up on how to lease a property safely and legally before falling in love with their dream property.
Should the worst happen with your landlord, it is important to follow the correct channels in complaints. Tenants must refuse to accept any illegal behaviour by landlords.
By issuing this guide, it is hoped tenants can spot any rogue landlords before signing contracts, thereby potentially driving out people that make the market challenging for credible landlords. If tenants regularly walk away from properties with poor standards, landlords will have no choice but to make amends to their rental homes.
Taking under half an hour to read from front to back, this new rental guide can save many tenants headaches.