Below we will provide a summary regarding Assured Short-hold Tenancies and also Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMO’s) which commonly applies to students.
A detailed overview and a checklist for renting in England can also be found on the UK government website.
An Assured Short-hold Tenancy is the most common type of tenancy but regardless of the type of tenancy that you enter into it is important to be aware that you are entering a contractual agreement. This means that you will have some responsibilities as a tenant but it also gives you some important rights.
Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO’s) is another type of common tenancy and are properties in which unrelated people share facilities such as the kitchen or bathroom.
Is Deposit Protection required?
Any deposit paid at the commencement of a tenancy must be protected in a government approved scheme.
What is the duration of the tenancy?
The duration of the tenancy is usually a fixed period of 6 or 12 months however if you wish for a longer term of up to 7 years many landlords are happy to offer this.
What are the rules regarding children, smoking and pets?
A Landlord may stipulate no pets, no children, no DSS at their discretion. At Virtue we would always encourage our Landlord clients to give this some careful thought as it opens their property to a wider market. However you should expect to pay a higher deposit to cover the addition risk of damage caused by a pet dog for example.
Who is responsible for paying the bills?
Usually the tenant is responsible for this but not in all cases so make sure you know your responsibilities before signing the agreement.
What about fixtures and fittings?
Make sure that you are happy with them as it is unlikely that a landlord will agree to changes once you have moved in.
Do I need a Carbon monoxide detector and smoke alarm?
The Landlord must provide and test smoke alarms and Carbon Monoxide detectors upon commencement of the tenancy. It will be your responsibility as a tenant to test them regularly an report any that are found not to be in good working order.
What happens if the building becomes unfit to live in?
Check that the tenancy agreement excuses you from paying rent in the event of a fire or flood for example.