Bear in mind that any Tenancy agreement you enter into will create a contractual relationship between you, as the tenant, and your landlord. This tenant-landlord relationship gives you certain rights as well as certain responsibilities. For more information, read Tenant’s rights and Tenant's and owner's obligations.
Before entering into a rental agreement, consider the following:
- What kind of residential tenancy do you require? There are different types of residential tenancy agreements, including fixed-term assured shorthold tenancies (giving the tenant the exclusive right to use and occupy a property), periodic tenancies (tenancies that run from month to month, or less commonly from week to week) and lodger agreements (where the owner lives at the property and the lodger is given use of a bedroom and has the right to share the other rooms with the owner).
- How long do you want the tenancy for? Consider how long you want to rent the property for. Generally, most tenancies are issued for a fixed term of 12 months; however, you may require a shorter or longer rental period. Note that usually (unless there are legal grounds for eviction, such as rent arrears) landlords can only get possession of the property after the first 6 months by following a set procedure which differs in England and Wales.
- What can you afford? Think about how much rent you can afford to pay, taking into account your outgoings (eg utility bills, living expenses and childcare costs).
- Do you have your documents ready? Landlords (or letting agents) will want to confirm certain information about you (eg your identity, credit history and employment status).
- If you are renting a property in England only, do you have the right to rent a property? The right to rent means that you have the legal right to rent property from a landlord in England. You have the right to rent in a number of circumstances, including if you’re a British citizen, have indefinite leave to remain in the UK or have settled or pre-settled status.