Renting in the UK is often thought to be a relatively straightforward business,. After all, with more UK citizens now opting to rent rather than buy their homes than ever before, renting has become the norm for the majority of young people starting out in the workplace or at university, as well as for many families.
While becoming an ever more popular option, there are still a number of potential pitfalls and legal complications to watch out for when renting a property. What’s more, there is relatively little information in circulation on how to rent in the UK, with most tenants relying on friends or family as their first port of call for any questions or queries they may have. This can prove a big stumbling block for those who are unfamiliar with the sector, particularly students and other young people as well as foreign nationals who come to the UK for work or study.
With the number of private landlords expanding every day, those renting a property need to ensure they are not only aware of their rights as tenants but that they are also receiving the correct legal protection to which they are entitled. The introduction of the deposit protection scheme in 2007 has been a major step in ensuring that the deposits paid by tenants to landlords are properly looked after from a legal perspective. However, relatively few people are aware of how the scheme works or that it even exists. The aim of the scheme is to ensure that landlords lodge the deposit with an approved third-party provider for the duration of the tenancy agreement and that it is returned to the tenant within 10 days following the termination of the rental period. Nevertheless, many tenants still find that only a proportion of the original deposit is returned to them due to the reported cost of cleaning the property or replacing lost or broken inventory.
For reliable information on how to rent in the UK or on your rights as tenants it is worth consulting an independent third-party such as a lawyer or public advisor. There are also a limited number of online resources such ju affiliated to a private estate agent or letting agency and may not be offering impartial advice. Renting might sound like an easy option but it pays to make sure you are properly prepared.
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