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Looking to rent a house or flat? Read our guide highlighting the dos and don'ts of property rental and help ensure your tenancy is trouble-free.


First steps

If you’re looking to rent a home, you need to consider what type of property is most suitable for your needs. You also need to consider the length of lease that will be most appropriate for you and therefore type of tenancy agreement that is most appropriate. It is always best to consult your solicitor for guidance before entering into any legally binding tenancy agreement.

For example, for your protection, houses or flats occupied by three or more unrelated persons are called houses in multiple occupation (HMO’s) and HMO landlords must have a licence from the local council. This ensures that the property is managed properly and meets certain safety standards.


  • Is a flat or house more suitable?
  • Which is the most appropriate area?
  • What are the local facilities, including schools (if appropriate)?
  • What is your budget, and do you have your deposit?
  • Seeking advice from your solicitor before committing to anything

Making checks — Do's

  • Check that the landlord has any necessary licences in place
  • Check that the property is save regarding gas and electrical appliances etc
  • Check the Council Tax band. You are liable for payment of Council Tax
  • Check the inventory before signing. When the time comes to sign this, the landlord should countersign the inventory to avoid any future disputes
  • Take photos to prove the condition of the property at the outset

Making checks — Don'ts

  • Sign, and therefore commit to a tenancy agreement without asking your solicitor to check it for you first

Responsibilities — Do's

  • Understand all your responsibilities as a tenant. Your solicitor can provide guidance
  • Pay your rent in full and on time
  • Contact your landlord if you are having difficulty paying the rent
  • Report promptly to your landlord the need for any repairs
  • Allow the landlord access to inspect or make repairs to the property, after giving sufficient notice

Responsibilities — Don'ts

  • Make alterations to the property without seeking landlord approval first
  • Cause damage to the property, fixtures or fittings, as you will be liable
  • Cause disturbance or annoyance to your neighbours which could jeopardise your tenancy

Ending a tenancy — Do's

  • Know and understand the terms of your tenancy at the outset
  • Provide your landlord with the relevant amount of notice, in writing
  • Be aware that your landlord can end your tenancy - check your tenancy agreement
  • Be aware of the inventory and what must remain in the property

Ending a tenancy — Don'ts

  • Expect to have your deposit returned in full if there is damage or undue wear and tear that has been caused