If your tenancy is to work out well from day one, there are a few key guidelines you should follow:
- Position yourself as a strong contender by having good references from previous landlords prepared in advance. Your new agent will of course want to verify these references but the landlord of a property you are viewing may have a choice of tenants to select from so why not show yourself to be a good option?
- Make sure you agree with the inventory and condition report, then sign and date it to avoid any misunderstandings down the line.
- Always ask for a written receipt for your deposit and details of where it has been lodged.
- Ensure you have emergency procedures in place and that your landlord or agent provides a telephone number to call if anything goes wrong. Know where the water, gas and electricity cut-off switches are in case of an emergency.
- If you are going away for more than a week or so, it is a common courtesy, and a practical one, to let your landlord or agent know that you are going to be away – again in case of any emergency.
- Don’t be afraid to report any problems, such as a leaking roof, to the landlord or agent who will usually appreciate the opportunity to remedy the issue before it gets worse. Be aware that just because something seemingly minor is not impacting on your way of life, it can turn into something more sinister and if you fail to report this you may be held accountable. Let your landlord decide on the urgency for these types of non-urgent problems.
- Prepare for the move out date. Moving home is hectic and time soon runs out. A significant number of deposit disputes revolve around cleaning issues so plan ahead and don’t leave everything to the last minute.
Above all, pay your rent on time. A happy landlord will usually be more than willing to make your tenancy as comfortable as possible in the knowledge that he/she has a responsible and reliable tenant.