Tenant’s Rights: Ask the Right Questions to the Landlord and Letting Agent

Most of the tenants in their haste or urgency to find a suitable property for rent often overlook certain vital points before sealing the rental deal. To avoid any later date confusions, they should obtain complete clarity on all important points which are of concern, by asking the right questions to the Landlord and Letting Agent before parting with any cash to seal the deal. The essential questions are outlined below.

Major Questions to Ask

  • Deposit: What is the kind of deposit protection scheme to be pursued by the Landlord so that the tenant’s deposit remains safe?
  • Permission: Does the Landlord hold valid permission from the mortgage lender to let out his property?

Note 1: If the lender has allowed the LL to let, then they will honour the terms of the rental agreement and the tenant will not lose any rent paid up front and have time to look for new rental property. If a tenant has difficulty in checking with the landlord or letting agent, then he can use the option download property documents from Land Registry Online and identify the mortgage lender.

  • Insurance: Is the property properly insured?
  • Bond: Is a local authority bond acceptable to the landlord in place of a deposit?
  • Inventory: What will be the process for inventory check before and end of the tenancy?
  • Inspection: How often the landlord will come and inspect the property, and how much notice period will be given to the tenant for this?

Note 2: Ideally they give 24 hours notice and if that it is not convenient they can refuse.

  • Term of Tenancy: Is the tenancy for a fixed term, if so what is the policy is about renewing the tenancy agreement and will they charge any fees?
  • Fees Upfront: Should the tenant pay any fees up front before moving in such as
    1. Application fee
    2. Holding fee
    3. Credit check fee
    4. Inventory check fee
    5. Tenancy agreement fee

 

Read and Sign

Even after having convincing answers to the above, the tenant is advised to sign a tenancy agreement only after reading it carefully. If there is something objectionable, get it removed. Also ensure that you are issued with a Section 21 notice at the very beginning of your tenancy. It is a legal document issued by the landlord or the letting agent giving the tenant at least two months of notice to vacate the property.

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