Signing the Contract and Moving In

You have finally found a room, flat or house that meets your needs, and you are excited to move into your new rental. Of course, there is an important process in renting, and you do not want to start that process without understanding the steps. The following guide gives you an idea of what to expect when signing the contract and moving into your new place.

Right to Rent

The process starts with proof that you have the right to rent a place in the United Kingdom. Letting agents and landlords are required by law to ask for proof to ensure you are not renting illegally. Your proof may include your driver’s licence or passport. If your right to rent is on a limited time frame, your letting agent or landlord is going to need to do a follow-up check.

The Contract

It is important to read the entire contract before signing it, and be sure to speak to an impartial solicitor if you are unsure about any part of the contract. The most commonly issued contract is the Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST). It states that the listed tenants are “jointly and severally liable”, and this means that all tenants are responsible for the entire rent. The AST also includes the length of your stay, tenant responsibility and notice period, as well as emergency contact information. You want to ensure the contract reflects the verbal agreement you have with your letting agent.

In addition to reading the entire contract, you also need to check to see if you are going to be dealing with a landlord or letting agent.

Know Your Rights

When renting rooms, you should always know your rights as a tenant. You should make sure you receive the following documents:

Gas Safety Certificate, if applicable.
Deposit Protection Certificate.
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).
The tenant information guide or How to Rent guide from the Government.
The Prescribed Information.

An Electrical Certificate may also be applicable in some properties, and likely to be in all cases in the future.

Deposit

If you are paying a deposit for your rental, it must be protected by a Tenancy Deposit Protection scheme, also known as a TDP. By law, your letting agent or landlord must register your deposit within 30 days of receiving it. In addition, they also need to provide the location of your deposit. If your tenancy goes smoothly, meaning there are not any damages or unpaid rent, you will receive your deposit back at the end of your tenancy.

Bills and Insurance

Firstly you should find out who is responsible for the bills, gas, electric, broadband, etc.

If you are responsible, when moving in you need to notify your utility companies of all tenants, the move-in date and meter readings. Your landlord must insure the building and their contents, but you are responsible for your own items. It is best to ensure you have contents insurance before you move in.

If you keep the above guidelines in mind and follow the process correctly when renting rooms, signing the contract and moving into your rental is sure to be a breeze.