Property expert Kate Faulkner has urged tenants to conduct research into properties before renting, in a guide funded by the TDS Charitable Foundation.
The guide provides a wealth of information that any prospective tenant may need, including the rights and responsibilities of all parties related to a tenancy. This is the latest in a series of reports by Kate designed to raise standards in the private rented sector and educate everyone involved in it.
In an easy-to-read visual format, the guide clearly sets out the journey of renting. It provides insight and tips throughout, including how to gain background information on the letting agent/landlord, managing issues and the check-out procedure.
Kate said: “Due to the current lack of regulation and low levels of enforcement of the law in this sector, tenants need to spend more time researching on how to rent a property legally and safely, before they fall in love with a property. Raising tenants awareness of areas that may become problematic beforehand has the potential to drive out the people who make it hard for those acting responsibly.
“You wouldn’t buy a car without conducting thorough research first, so why would you rent a property without doing the same? This guide provides information on how to go about doing this. Taking less than 30 minutes to read, it could save a tenant a lot of headaches further down the line.
“Tenants should expect a property where they can see the EPC up-front, so they know their likely utility bills and there should be no damp visible either. Legally let properties must have up-to-date gas safety certificates and ideally smoke and carbon monoxide detectors too. When renting a property with an assured shorthold tenancy agreement (AST), their deposit should be protected in a recognised, government approved scheme such as the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS). If tenants walk away from sub-standard properties, poor landlords will quickly get the message and make amends, as void periods are a concern for landlords and can mean a loss of income. Tenants do have a role to play in refusing to accept illegal behaviour from landlords or tolerating properties below acceptable living standards and should report to their local authority any properties which fail to meet the correct standards.
“The private rented sector is often accused of being like the ‘wild west’ but if tenants know what to look for in an agent and landlord as well as what is really acceptable property standard wise, this reputation can be quickly suppressed.”
Kate’s full report is available at: bit.ly/TDSreport6
The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) is a government approved scheme for the protection of tenancy deposits; we offer both insured and custodial protection. We also provide fair adjudication for disputes that arise over the tenancy deposits that we protect.
These views are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect the view of TDS, its officers and employees.