New guidance has been produced to help private renters in England who are looking for a house or flat to rent.
The guidance has been produced by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and provides a checklist of the most important and common aspects to help protect renters from problems at every stage of looking for, and moving in to, private rented property.
The guidance is for renters who are entering in to an assured shorthold tenancy (AST) agreement – the most commonly used tenancy agreement in the private sector – but doesn’t cover lodgers or people with licences , nor tenants where the property is not their main or only home.
What’s in it?
It provides a host of information that should enable a better understanding about the rights of the tenant, and their responsibilities so that a positive relationship with their landlord can be maintained. It contains lots of detailed information about what to consider:
- before searching for a property – whether through letting agent or directly from a landlord;
- once you’ve found a place –information about the important documentation tenants should receive from their landlord or agent;
- during the tenancy – including the rights and what’s expected of tenants, and how to deal with problems or issues;
- When the tenancy is coming to an end –how to renew or extend the tenancy and how the property should be left upon tenancy expiry to ensure no issues arise.
What if problems arise?
The guidance also contains important information about tenant’s legal rights and offers further sources of information and support for renters who experience problems during the tenancy, such as:
- financial problems
- Concerns over the safety of the property
- Fear of or actual harassment by the landlord/ illegal eviction.
Download the full guide now
You can download the guidance from he DCLG’s website here.
Most of it will equally apply if you are in a shared property but in certain cases your rights and responsibilities will vary.