1. Research the area.
2. Discuss pets early.
3. Check out the white goods.
4. Don't forget to check the water pressure too.
5. Find out if your contract contains a release clause.
6. Ask the landlord if they will repaint the walls before you move in.
7. Conduct a thorough inventory.
8. Find out how much money will need to be paid in advance.
9. Check if you will need a guarantor.
10. Challenge any terms and conditions you're not happy with.
11. Find out where your deposit will be held.
12. And when it comes to your money, know your rights.
13. Understand how rent increases work.
14. Remember, if you're moving into a room rather than a house, you still have the same rights.
15. (But things vary slightly if your name is not on the lease.)
16. Understand what an estate agent is allowed to charge you for.
17. Ask for everything in writing.
The names of the landlord and tenant(s) and the address of the property which is being let.The date the tenancy begins.Details of whether other people are allowed the use of all or part of the property, and, if so, which parts.The duration of the tenancy: that is, whether it expires on a certain date, in which case it is a fixed term tenancy, or whether it has no fixed term, in which case it is a periodic tenancy.The amount of rent payable, how often and when it should be paid, and when it can be increased. The agreement may also state what the payment includes – for example, council tax or utility bills.Whether the landlord will provide any services – for example, laundry, maintenance of common parts or meals, and whether there are service charges for these.The length of notice the landlord and the tenant need to give if the tenancy is to be ended within the fixed term (break clause).If there is a weekly tenancy, the landlord must provide a rent book to the tenant. (The landlord commits a criminal offence if they fail to do this.)If the tenant does not know the name of the landlord, they can make a written request for the full name and address of the landlord to the person who receives the rent. (The agent must supply the tenant with this information in writing within 21 days.)The landlord must provide an address in England or Wales to which notices should be sent – for example, notices requiring repairs to be carried out. Rent is not lawfully due until the landlord has served these details on the tenant.If the tenancy is an assured shorthold, the landlord must provide basic written terms of the agreement within 28 days of the tenant requesting this in writing.
Citizens Advice is currently campaigning for tenants to be entitled to rent refunds where the property they're living in is dangerous or not fit to live in.
If you are a private tenant renting through a letting agent or have been in the last couple of years, you can help Citizens Advice fight for your rights by filling out this survey online.
You can find out more here.