A guide for first time tenants

Renting a property for the very first time can be a daunting process but it can be made easier by following these tips:

• Make sure you ask all the right questions – never, ever commit to renting a property before you have answers to vital questions such as:  how near is public transport and how far are the local shops and amenities? View the property in the same way you would if you were buying it and check out the area. Never be afraid to take a trusted friend or family member with you or a list of questions you can tick off. Finding decent flats to let can be easier when you have some support.

• Make a written record of any problems with the flat or house before you move in and give it to the landlord or the letting agent.  This should ensure that pre existing problems will not affect your deposit when moving out.

• If you are sharing with one or more tenants then draw up a written financial plan from the beginning. Most of the disputes between flatmates are caused by financial disagreements.

• Paying your rent on time will guarantee a good relationship between you and your landlord and ensure repairs are done promptly. It can only be to your benefit in the long term.

• By law the landlord or letting agent has to register your deposit with an accredited agency.  Check this is done and ask for written confirmation.  If when you leave the landlord has deducted money from the deposit he is legally required to inform you what the deductions were for.  Make sure you get this information.