If you’re a tenant, renting a house in the UK there are a couple of things you can do to make sure your tenancy is as simple and as cost effective as possible:
Make sure your contents is insured as soon as you move in.
One of the best things about renting a house is that your landlord pays the buildings insurance on your home, however you do still need to take out contents insurance to cover your own belongings, furniture and any other goods you have in the property. When researching insurers you will also need to take into account whether you are:
- Renting the whole house just you (and your family) – in which case you can use sites such as gocompare.com www.comparethemarket.com www.confused.com then you also want to check with www.Aviva.com and www.DirectLine.com (these 2 don’t show up on the money saving websites!)
- If you’re in a house share – Getting cover from mainstream insurers can be tricky (a locked room helps, so ask for one). Comparison sites, Compare The Market and MoneySupermarket say they provide flat-share quotes, but double-check the policy allows it – comparison sites are very flaky on this. While it’s worth using the comparison sites to get a benchmark price, it might be better to check out a specialist such as Endsleigh and add AA to the list, which is a broker. You may also find it easier going down the route of finding a local broker via BIBA as these will specialise in tailoring a quote for you.
If you’re in a house-share, always let your insurers know you live with others and not on your own (even if your housemates won’t be covered by the policy) otherwise you could risk invalidating your insurance.
Check your deposit’s protected
More than a third of private renters in England and Wales either don’t know about the tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme or don’t know if their deposit is protected, according to housing charity Shelter. If this is you, check NOW.
Under the law in England and Wales, if you’ve what’s called an ‘assured shorthold tenancy’ (the most common type) that started on or after 6 April 2007, your landlord MUST put your deposit into one of these schemes within 30 days of getting it. (If you’re not a lodger or renting from a council, you’ve probably got an assured shorthold tenancy, but you can double-check with Shelter’s tenancy checker.)
Tricks to help ensure you get your deposit back
When it comes to checking your property at the end of your stay, landlords can develop better microscopic vision than Superman, but there are ways you can improve the chances of getting your deposit back.
- Check your contract. Dig it out and give it another read. Does it say the carpets need to be deep-cleaned, or that all picture hooks need to be removed and filled in? If so, make sure these are sorted
- Patch up any damage. Fix it properly – covering up a hole in the wall with a picture may seem like a good idea at the time, but leaving it like this when you move out is practically asking for your deposit to be docked.
- Ensure nothing’s missing or broken. Check the inventory thoroughly to make sure everything’s as it should be, and replace or fix as needed.
- Take photos as proof you’ve left it in good order. These could be useful evidence later if a dispute arises over your deposit.
- Have a proper deep-clean. Get a scrupulous friend or family member to check the place over to check there’s nothing you’ve missed, and remove all rubbish.
If you want any help in renting a house or ensuring your tenancy goes as smooth as possible then call our incredible tenancy team in our Oakham office: 01572 756675