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Tenants Tips

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Things can be stressful and confusing when you’re a tenant. There are a million reasons you don’t have a mortgage and everything you work for is going to your landlord and your bills.

It’s understandable you can get a little irritable when things aren’t perfect or you think your landlord isn’t being fair. It’s important you know where you stand and what rights you have.

Insurance

Your landlord has most probably covered themselves for buildings insurance, but you need to be sure you have your own contents cover. The last things you want are your belongings being stolen which you can’t afford to replace because you’re paying your rent. UKinsuranceNET offer competitive prices.

Bills

The landlords concern is collecting the rent, but you’re the one who has to pay the bills. When you move in you may not be with the best energy provider. Have a look around and make sure you’re getting the best deal rather than the one you were given when you moved in.

If you're renting a flat and can’t change the provider, have a read of Going Green and Saving Money, to see how else you could save on energy. You could also speak to your landlord and explain how switching could benefit them and the environment.

Privacy

Your landlord may own the house, but you are living there. Nobody wants to be in the shower and hearing a stranger walking around down stairs; it’s enough to scare anyone to death. If the landlord has plans to carry any work out on the house they have to consult you first, they should also always knock before entering. It’s no insult to address this if it’s became an issue with your landlord. You should feel comfortable in your own home and not be afraid of anything going missing or being walked in on wearing your nightie.

Responsibilities

I’m sure you think that by decorating you would be doing your landlord a favour, however the colours may be plain so that future tenants aren't put off by previous taste. Make sure that you ask your landlord if it’s okay first or see if you can both agree on any changes you might think would be better for the house. However the landlord has their own responsibility.

They have to make sure that the property is safe. It’s not up to you to check the wiring and smoke alarms. There are governing bodies who can assist you if you feel like the safety standards aren’t being met in your home. gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-environment-food-rural-affairs.

Checks

It’s going to be hard for your landlord to solve problems which you didn’t raise when you first moved in. It’s no good if you’ve just noticed the house is facing the wrong way or the light switch has never worked. You should write down any problems you find so that if you need to strike a deal with your landlord in future, you have a little leverage. Also, you don’t want to be getting blamed and charged for past tenants problems, check for damage and the meter levels so you don’t get the bill. Read through our house viewing check list.

If you come across any problems while your living there, such as the hot water doesn’t work, let your landlord know so they can fix it immediately.

Questions

There will be so many things you want to ask, and your landlord should answer them. Write down everything that comes to mind so that you are sure you have everything in order. Ask about previous tenants and any problems, ask about the area and parking bays. Ask to see appliance safety checks and deposit protection schemes. Don’t think you could ask too much, you will be paying to live there, you are entitled to have everything right.

Ask where you would find everything, such as fuse boxes and meters, you don’t want to rely on the landlord to run out in the middle of a power cut. Also, don’t be afraid to give the neighbour a knock, they could let you know more from experience than your landlord. They’ll be honest and tell you anything bad about the area like anti-social behaviour problems.

Relationship

Trying to keep a good relationship with your landlord can save you a lot of problems. If they know you’re genuine and are doing your best, they should be happy to help you. If you aren’t happy with the contract, just be honest and go through a few things with them, honesty is the best policy, and in future you can’t be blamed because you’d mentioned it before signing. Make sure you are 100% happy with your contract before you sign it. If you are having contract disputes, you can visit your local Citizens Advice Bureau, who will give you professional advice and explain what you can do.

As a tenant anything which you are expected to keep up on will be in your contract. Make sure you read this properly to understand where you stand before raising an issue with the landlord. Your landlord is there to help you, so ask them if you have any troubles, you can’t be expected to do everything yourself.

Remember this is your home too, you have to live there so be proud and look after our home. We have put together a list so that you can protect your home and keep your landlord happy.

Our blog is full of information for you and your home. Helping you avoid problems and keeping you from insurance problems. To stay updated with UKinsuranceNET follow us on Facebook and Twitter. If you have found ‘Tenants Tips’ useful, have a read of "avoid property disasters".

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