For tenants, ensuring that you have a responsible and responsive landlord is a key component to ensuring that you have a happy and safe home throughout the duration of your tenancy. While the majority of landlords look after their tenants and meet with their responsibilities, sadly many of us have heard horror stories of landlords who don’t meet with their legal requirements, leave tenants with outstanding essential repairs, or do not respond to reasonable requests.
However, there are steps that you as a potential tenant secure a good landlord, and spot the signs of a potentially bad one. Here’s our helpful guide to securing the right landlord for you.
Understand your landlord’s responsibilities
By being informed of what is a landlord (and what is a tenant) responsibility, it’s wise to do a little research first. Knowing what you are liable for, and the steps that your landlord should take to ensure that your property is safe, secure and habitable is a helpful tool in securing a responsible landlord.
Take a look at our helpful guide to understanding your rights as an assured shorthold tenant as a starting point.
Check the property
A good measure of how your landlord is likely to behave it to look closely at the property when you view. Are external items such as windows, gutters and the roof in a well maintained condition? Internally, is the property in a good state of repair – watch out for items such as damp or mould.
When viewing a property with current tenants still in situ, it can be worth asking them about their experience throughout the duration of their tenancy too.
Ask to see documentation
Your landlord has several legal obligations to provide you with documentation. All properties with gas appliances in England must have valid gas safety certificate which is in date. This ensures that all gas appliances in the property are safe and fit for use.
Additionally your landlord should supply an Energy Performance Certificate. This document shows you how much energy the property uses and how it rates in terms of energy efficiency. Under new always introduced in 2019, landlord cannot rent out homes unless the property has an EOC rating of E or higher, so do check the certificate.
Should you choose to enter into a tenancy on a property – your deposit must be properly protected in one of the government protection schemes. Your deposit must be registered within 30 days of you paying the deposit and inform you of which scheme it is protected with.
Choose a reputable lettings agency
A sure-fire way to ensure that you will enjoy a stress-free tenancy is to use a reputable lettings agency to help you to source a property. A good lettings agency will ensure that landlords meet with their contractual obligations, and if they manage the property, remove the need for you to liaise directly with the landlord – which can feel less intimidating to many tenants as the agent can act as go between.
Benoit Property have a range of properties available to let across the North West, so take a look at our available properties here.