Things to Check When Moving Into a Rented Property

Written By PropertyLoop
March 02, 2021
Do I Need Tenants’ Insurance When Renting? PropertyLoop

Do I Need Tenants’ Insurance When Renting?   

It is important to note that renters are not under any legal obligation to take out any insurance policies when moving into a rental property. Whilst landlords may be in a similar position, if they have taken out a buy to let mortgage for the property, the policy provider will often demand that buildings insurance is obtained by the owner. With this in mind, regardless of the policies obtained by the landlord, the possessions, or damage caused by the tenants will not be considered, leaving them to take out their own forms of insurance. Typically, renters will take out a contents insurance policy protecting any items that they move with from theft and accidental damage, tenants will need to determine the value of the items they wish to insure, then contact the policy provider to establish the cover. In some instances, a tenant’s insurance policy can help preserve a renter’s tenancy deposit as it would cover any damage that occurs to the property, commonly referred to as tenant liability insurance.  

Should a Rental Property Be Clean When You Move In? 

It should go without saying that upon moving in the landlord should have ensured the rental property is in immaculate condition for the newly arrived tenants. With this being said once the tenancy agreement is signed and bags are through the door the occupants will be expected to conduct themselves in a “tenant like manner” seeing them take on cleaning duties, property disposing of waste and light maintenance duties, such as checking smoke alarms.  

Do You Need Proof of Earnings to Rent? 

Before moving into the rental property aspiring tenants will be required to pass what is known as the referencing process. This series of assessments helps landlords or letting agents determine if the applicant will be a good fit for the rental property and not cause any problems over the course of the tenancy.  

This will see potential tenants justify their ability to consistently pay rent through passing the affordability checks. These checks will demand that the renters show their employment status, current income and their credit history, allowing the landlord or letting agent to see any outstanding lines of credit or historical debt that is yet to be cleared.  

If the aspiring tenant fails any of the affordability checks this does not strictly prevent them from renting. Whilst this would ultimately be determined by the landlord, the tenant could be asked to obtain a guarantor, giving the owner the additional security surrounding their rental income.  

What Do I Need to Do When Moving Into a New Rental? 

What Do I Need to Do When Moving Into a New Rental? Propertyloop

Has Deposit Been Protected?

At the start of a tenancy, renters will often be asked to provide their landlord with a security, or tenancy deposit. In the overwhelming majority of cases the tenant should pay no more than the equivalent cost of five weeks rent for this deposit. However, once this sum has been given to the owner they will have 30 days in which to not only enter the deposit into a government backed deposit protection scheme, but also send confirmation of this to the tenant. The landlord should inform the tenant in writing of the amount being protected, the deposit protection scheme the amounts have been entered into, the address of the rental property and the conditions under which they are empowered to make deductions from the amount that will be refunded. If it is found that the owner of the rental property has failed to protect the security deposit then they could be made to not only enter the sums into a scheme, but repay each tenant up to three times the amount that should have been protected in compensation.  

Sign Off on the Property Inventory   

As mentioned, when moving into a rental property tenants will often be expected to provide the landlord with a security deposit equal to around five weeks rent. With owners being able to make deductions from the amount of this deposit that would be returned to the tenant come the end of the tenancy, if the tenant wishes to dispute these damages they will need to show they didn’t occur during the tenancy, just as the landlord will need to validate their proposed deduction. With this in mind both parties will curate a property inventory on the outset of the tenancy, a document comprehensively detailing not only the condition of each space the property has to offer but the appliances and furnishings found across the rental. It is essential that each description is accompanied by a time-stamped photograph for complete clarity as to when the inventory was completed, whilst also making any change in the condition of the rental irrefutable.  

Take Meter Readings

For many the first thing to check while renting a house is the meter readings. No one wants to pay for the previous occupant’s usage so making it clear to the provider that a new tenant is responsible for the usage, whilst providing current meter readings for gas, electric and water, helping you to pay for accurate usage.  

Don’t Forget to Redirect Your Post 

With all of the excitement that comes with find a new home and moving into a rental property, tenants can sometimes overlook the importance of redirecting their post. From your GP, to your bank, renters will need to ensure royal mail has been informed no later than 120 days before the move, in order to ensure a smooth transition.  

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