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Sunday, 19 September 2021
MOVING out on your own for the first time can be daunting and there are lots of things to consider to ensure that your tenancy runs as smoothly as possible.
Estate and letting agency Romans has compiled a tenants’ guide to renting answering many of the questions it is frequently asked by first-time tenants.
What is ARLA and is it important?
ARLA stands for Association of Residential Letting Agents and is the governing body of the lettings industry.
ARLA agents have a strict code of conduct and service level which they must work to and so by working with an agent who follows this you ensure that everything is done by the book and your best interests are looked after.
It also gives you added protection that if you were not happy with the service, you could complain to ARLA who would assist you in resolving the issue.
What references do I need to provide?
The most important reference you will need to provide is one from your employer verifying that your earnings are as you’ve stated.
If you have previously lived in rental accommodation, a reference from your previous landlord is required.
You may also be asked to provide personal references. This can be a friend or a colleague who can vouch that you are who you say you are and, that they believe you will be a good tenant.
Will I get my deposit back?
Yes, you are entitled to receive your full deposit when you leave the property — providing it is left in the same condition as when you moved in. If the property needs to be professionally cleaned or there are any damages or repairs, the landlord may deduct the cost for rectifying these issues from your deposit. If there are any disputes over the deductions from the deposit, these can be raised with either the letting agent or the deposit holding company who can act as a mediator until the dispute is resolved.
What repairs and maintenance issues am I responsible for?
As a tenant, you are responsible for looking after internal decorations, furniture and equipment.
There is an expectation for wear and tear to the property and landlords won’t be able to deduct this from your deposit so long as it’s reasonable. It is your duty as a tenant to report any maintenance or repair issues to the landlord in a reasonable amount of time to prevent the problem from worsening. Minor maintenance works such as changing light fittings and checking smoke alarms work all fall within your responsibilities as a tenant.
What repairs and maintenance issues is my landlord responsible for?
Landlords are responsible for the property’s structure and exterior, as well as the sanitation fittings such as sinks, drains and pipes. Heating and hot water are also the responsibility of the landlord as are gas appliances and fittings.
What happens when I want to leave?
You will need to review your contract to understand if you are on a fixed-term tenancy or a periodic one.
If you are on a fixed-term agreement you must check if there is a break clause and what the terms are, otherwise you will have to continue paying rent until the end of the fixed term.
If you are on a periodic tenancy your tenancy rolls on each time you make a payment, so you will need to give notice equivalent to the gaps between payment. For example, if you pay monthly your notice period is one month.
Notice should be given in writing and you should always keep a copy for your own records. Include in the letter the property’s address, the date you will be leaving, and how the landlord can contact you.
⚫ If you are thinking about renting a property and would like to find out more about the process, call Romans on 01344 985666. For more information, visit Romans online at www.romans.co.uk
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