What is a tenancy agreement and what does it contain?
A tenancy agreement is very detailed and lists your responsibilities as a tenant. As a bare minimum, it should contain:
- Full names of the landlord(s) and tenant(s);
- Full address of the property;
- Deposit amount and how it is protected;
- How much the rent is and how it should be paid;
- Information on how and when the rent will be reviewed;
- Address of the landlord(s) or agent who will be looking after the property;
- Start and end date of the tenancy.
Other items that may be within the tenancy agreement:
- The bills the tenant is responsible for;
- How and when the deposit may be fully or partly withheld;
- If the tenancy can be ended early and how this can be done;
- Who is responsible for repairs;
- Whether pets are permitted and the rules around this;
- Whether smoking is permitted;
- Whether the property can be let to anyone else (sublet) or if lodgers are allowed.
Before signing the tenancy agreement, you should:
- Make sure you have visited the property enough times that you are sure you want to proceed;
- Ensure your deposit is protected by a Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme;
- Ensure you have gone over you budget so that you are satisfied you can afford the rent and any bills;
- Check you understand all instructions for electrical items, heating etc;
- Make sure you see an up to date, valid gas safety certificate;
- Ensure inventory is all agreed – that you have all items within the property as set out. It is also worthwhile checking the state of these items and photographing anything already showing signs of damage or wear;
- Make sure you have all keys for doors and windows.
Moving into your new property
Whether using a removals firm or doing it yourself, moving can be pretty stressful! However, we have some tips to make it as stress-free as possible!
- Allow yourself plenty of time to get packed and ready to move! Start collecting boxes in advance and packaging material such as bubble wrap to protect your more fragile items;
- Pick a day(s) best suited to you. Do not stress yourself further by picking a day that you know is the busiest for you;
- Have a standard letter or email prepared so that you can notify utility companies, bank, doctors, places of work, DVLA etc that you are moving;
- Make sure you have sorted utility companies for your new property and ensure you take meter readings on your moving in day;
- Set up a postal re-direct, and try to do this as much in advance is possible;
- Notify the company you have purchased contents insurance with that you are now moving in and need cover to start.
Don't forget you will need to take out insurance - Take a look at our Tenant's Insurance Guide.