When it comes to renting a property, there are a lot of factors you need to consider before signing a lease. Once signed, you will be bound by the terms and conditions set out within. So, what type of things should you look out for before you do sign? Here, you’ll discover 5 essential things tenants should know before signing a lease.
1. Understand the type of contract you’re signing
One of the first things you should check is the type of contract you’re signing. Is it an assured shorthold tenancy, an assured tenancy or a non-assured tenancy for example? You’ll typically find most tenancy agreements are assured shorthold tenancy leases with a fixed 6- or 12-month contract.
2. What will happen to your deposit?
You will usually be required to come up with a deposit of around 4-6 weeks rent. This is paid before you move into the property. These days, all landlords need to put the deposit into an approved deposit protection scheme within 30 days. This provides additional protection to the tenant as it ensures your deposit remains untouched. So, always check the lease states where the deposit will be held before you sign it.
3. Read the small print
As tedious as it is, it’s important to read through the small print before signing a lease. This is where you’ll find all of the important information regarding what is expected from you and the landlord during the tenancy.
Making sure the start and end date are listed correctly, that all tenants are included and that you understand who is responsible for the cost of repairs are just some of the things to watch out for.
4. Take out tenant insurance
One thing you’ll also want to do before signing a lease is to take out tenant insurance from a company like Homelet. This is particularly important if you’ll be renting a furnished or part furnished property. It will protect you in case you accidentally damage your landlord’s property.
5. The condition of the property
Finally, you should never sign a lease until you’ve actually seen the property. Make sure it’s in good condition and there are no immediate repairs which need to be carried out. You should never agree to rent out a property unless you’ve had a viewing. There are a lot of scams around so if you aren’t offered a viewing, take it as a red flag and find a different property to rent.
As you can see, there’s a lot to think about before you sign a lease. Remember, once you’ve signed a rental agreement, you’re bound by the conditions set within it. So, you really need to make sure you understand what you’re signing.