Teaching and Learning

Moving in

If you have decided to rent a flat or house it is important to make some final checks with the landlord before you sign a tenancy agreement. Once the tenancy has been signed you have entered into a legal contract, which might be difficult to get out of quickly, so be certain before

you sign anything

Final checks before signing a tenancy agreement

  • Check that the deposit is refundable
  • Carry out a full inventory*
  • Get a receipt for any deposit or rent in advance
  • Check which tenancy deposit scheme the landlord uses
  • Read through the tenancy agreement before signing
  • Check the obvious things are correct – dates, names, rent amount, etc.
  • Get some help if you do not understand something
  • Make sure you understand your responsibilities as a tenant
  • If the landlord has agreed to carry out any jobs before moving in, get it confirmed in writing
  • All tenants are entitled to the full name and a UK address for their landlord
  • Ask for this to be given in writing
  • Check what is covered by the landlord’s insurance
  • You may want to take out your own contents insurance policy

*Inventories

An inventory is a list of the contents and condition of the property and any items provided in it, like furniture or equipment. An inventory is done at the start of the tenancy and then checked at the end to help solve any disagreements about damage to the property. The inventory should be done before you move into the property. The landlord or letting agent should put the inventory together when you are present, if possible. You and the landlord should sign the inventory to show that you agree it is correct. You should always check the inventory thoroughly before you sign and then keep a copy for yourself. If the landlord refuses to do an inventory, do your own and get an independent witness such as a friend or support worker to sign it and send a copy to the landlord or letting agent.

Settling in to your new Home

First steps: Make sure you have something to sleep on, a kettle, cutlery and basic crockery, enough heating and light, running water.

 Later on: Introduce yourself to neighbours, tell them if you are having a housewarming party, don’t allow visitors to outstay their welcome.

 Avoiding feeling lonely: Keep in touch with family and friends, get out at least once a day, make plans to meet up with people regularly, join a club, start a course or do some voluntary work!

The Housemate Pack has advice about living independently.

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