Connecting tenants with landlords has been a key part of our business for many years now, and over time we have seen many successful relationships, but also some that didn't go so well. Over the years, the government has taken some steps to try and protect tenants from less scrupulous landlords, but at the same time there's still steps and guidelines that should be followed.
On both sides of the letting arrangement, preparation is key. As a tenant, moving into a new rental property will require some amount of cash; the most important and largest item is going to be the rental deposit, which is likely to be at least one month's rent and probably more, but don't neglect to also budget for bills that may need settling for the property that you are moving out of that could affect your credit history or references in the future. With a budget in mind, and with a deposit saved, making contact with a letting agent and introducing yourself and what you're looking for could mean that you are likely to be notified of appropriate properties before they are advertised elsewhere.
Preparation as a landlord is more important than ever. Of course there are the legal obligations that are covered by building regulations, fire safety and electrical safety, but more than this landlords should, and are expected to endeavour make the home safe and pleasant for tenants to live in, within reason of course. A home that is well decorated and looked after is likely to be treated better by tenants than one that has not been well maintained.
Honesty is a key part of the landlord-tenant relationship. Dishonesty from either party is frustrating. If you're a smoker or have pets, find a landlord who will accept this, rather than risk your reputation as a tenant. If you are a landlord, don't make promises you can't keep – if you say you are planning to make improvements or say you will get some part of the property fixed, do it! Another good idea is to have a regular schedule of property checks so that if there is a problem this is found sooner rather than later.
This is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to successful renting and letting, but preparation and honesty are key elements to getting it right. Thorough reference checking and looking at rental history should be considered very important, and at the same time tenants should be vigilant to make sure that the property is safe to inhabit. It's a Smart Move to link up with a letting agent who is local to the area and well connected who can help you either find your perfect home or to let out your own property.