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Renting Property UK

publication date: Sep 24, 2010
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author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books
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Renting Property UK

You might think renting a property in the UK is easy. See a property you like on the internet, turn up for a viewing, give the landlord a deposit and move in. If you rent a property like this however you are likely at some point to lose your deposit, find you are renting from a rogue landlord and even end up with no home to rent as the person you met never owned the property and has walked off with your deposit!

Unfortunately neither letting agents nor landlords are regulated by the law in any way. As a result, they can pretty much walk off with your money and go bust having spent your rent and deposit. Meanwhile you end up on the street, and there is very little you can do about it!

When renting in the UK for the first time, it is therefore essential that you only ever rent properties which are let by a reputable landlord or letting agent and the properties are let legally.

To find make sure you don’t end up with a rogue landlord, follow property expert:-

Kate Faulkner's Top Five Tips to Renting Property in the UK

Top Renting Tip 1
Make sure the letting agent is a member of NALS, ARLA and/or The Property Ombudsman Scheme. If you have any problems that can’t be solved between you, these third party organisations will help, for free, to resolve the dispute.

If you’re letting from a landlord, ideally look for one that is a member of the Residential Landlords Association and/or the National Landlord Association as they are more likely to keep their properties, contracts and renting procedures up to date with the latest legals.

Top Renting Tip 2
However much you love the property if it hasn’t got a current (ie done within the last 12 months) gas and/or electrical safety certificate, walk away. Any properties that are let without the gas safety or sign off on the electrics by the landlord or a Part P qualified electrician isn’t being let legally which could lead to a serious injury if they haven’t been done correctly.

Top Renting Tip 3
If you view a property always ask to see the Energy Performance Certificate. If you are renting via a letting agent they will typically include these in the property details on-line. DON’T IGNORE THEM! This is for two reasons. Firstly they explain how warm or cold the property is and how much your utility bills are likely to be. Secondly, anyone marketing a property for rent without one is doing so illegally and is therefore likely to make other  hort cuts, so avoid properties without an EPC like the plague!

Top Renting Tip 4
Ask which tenancy deposit scheme your deposit will be held in. If the landlord doesn’t take a deposit, don’t see this as good news! It means they will probably kick you out when they feel like it and they are likely to be breaking the law.

Top Renting Tip 5
Don’t just sign a contract that you are given. Read every page and make sure you understand how much notice you have to give to quit the property, what you can and can’t do in the property (you might not be allowed pets) and what you have to do prior to vacating the property, for example have the carpets professionally cleaned.

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