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Sparky

First time tenant

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Hi

I'm going to move into my new rented house shortly through a letting agent, i'm a bit concerned though as every time i've gone to view the property they never show me that even the lights are in working order.

what things should i ask them before i depart with best part of £2000 ?

thank you

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Hi

There are so many questions you could ask, but I guess you dont want to go too overboard in case you put the landlord off.

Some thoughts on what to bear in mind:

a ) you could ask whether there is an electrical safety certificate in place or whether the portable electrical appliances have been tested. There is no legal requirement for landlords to have electrics or electrical appliances checked, but there is an obligation to make sure they are safe. The usual way to do this is to have the electrics checked about every 5 years and for the appliances to be checked periodically.

b ) you should certainly ask to see a gas safety certificate if there is any gas in the property. The landlord is obliged to give you a copy when the tenancy starts, or before.

c ) the property does have to be fit for human habitation at the start of the tenancy. Mould in the fridge probably doesnt count as fit. If its still that dirty when the tenancy starts, make sure it is properly recorded on the inventory, which hopefully should be both a written and a photographic record of the condition of the property.

d ) make sure you are clear - and the tenancy agreement is clear - on who is responsible for what. For example, if there are appliances in the property, will the landlord repair them if they break down, or will they just be taken away?

Most of all though, you need to make a judgement as to whether you trust the landlord and the agent, just as landlords assess their tenants. Most lanldords want to provide you with a good service and to look after their investment.

Good luck!

Preston

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Hi

There are so many questions you could ask, but I guess you dont want to go too overboard in case you put the landlord off.

Some thoughts on what to bear in mind:

a ) you could ask whether there is an electrical safety certificate in place or whether the portable electrical appliances have been tested. There is no legal requirement for landlords to have electrics or electrical appliances checked, but there is an obligation to make sure they are safe. The usual way to do this is to have the electrics checked about every 5 years and for the appliances to be checked periodically. Thanks, I'll check all the appliances myself as i'm an Electrician.

b ) you should certainly ask to see a gas safety certificate if there is any gas in the property. The landlord is obliged to give you a copy when the tenancy starts, or before. Thanks, i'll ask to see a gas safety cert as the property has a gas fire in the living room and a gas cooker in the kitchen.

c ) the property does have to be fit for human habitation at the start of the tenancy. Mould in the fridge probably doesnt count as fit. If its still that dirty when the tenancy starts, make sure it is properly recorded on the inventory, which hopefully should be both a written and a photographic record of the condition of the property. Thanks, the mould was in the ice compartment where i guess the ice defrosted and formed the said mould.

d ) make sure you are clear - and the tenancy agreement is clear - on who is responsible for what. For example, if there are appliances in the property, will the landlord repair them if they break down, or will they just be taken away?

Thanks, i'll make sure i read all the small print on the contract before signing it.

Most of all though, you need to make a judgement as to whether you trust the landlord and the agent, just as landlords assess their tenants. Most lanldords want to provide you with a good service and to look after their investment. Thanks, i've not yet met the Landlord, but the agents seem professional and are well estabilshed,

over 25 years in this town.

Good luck!

Preston

thanks for all your answers preston much appreciated, i do have a few more questions.

is it ok to ask the landlord if i could buy new light fittings and fit them and fit dimmer switches in his property as the wife isn't too keen on the ones already fitted "shes very fussy".

i could keep the ones he has fitted and box them away and put the orignals back if/when we leave his property.

would it be ok to turf the rear garden and put some plants in ? or do landlords frown upon this ?

Kind Regards

Sparky

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Hi

I think you have the right approach, which to ask first. For what its worth, I would say yes to the light fittings and switches, given your profession. If you werent an electrician though, I might be a bit more reluctant, not to be awkard, but just because of the health and safety issues.

Your tenancy agreement probably says you are not allowed to alter the premises without the landlord's permission. Its not always easy to define, but anything which is permanently fixed to the building and which is not simply of a decorative nature would probably be counted as alterations, so this is likely to include light switches and the better quality light fittings (though probably not the sort which just hang from the celing rose).

As for the garden, my guess is most landlords would be very pleased for you to do what you suggest. Again, your actual legal position will depend upon what is says in your tenancy agreement. If the agreement says nothing on this issue other than that you must tend the garden, then technically you would probably be able to do anything you like in the garden provided it doesnt annoy the neighbours, break the law (e.g. chopping down trees with preservation orders on them) or adversely affect the value of the property.

I hope it all works out.

Preston

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Thanks again for your advice preston, as we've owned our own house for the past 12 years and sold it in a high standard, the mrs doesn't want us moving into a new home in a poorer standard. i just wish our new landlord would knock on our door before the new buyer moves in next week to see for himself how well we have improved our house and kept it nice clean and modern state.

some of the propertys we viewed before this one was of a very poor standard, i find it hard to beleive some landlords actually put their propertys on the rental market in such a poor state.

i take my hat off to you guys who are good landlords, personally i could never of rented out my property as it seems such a headache and the laws seem against the landlord rather than the tenant unfortunetley.

i asked the agent if i could pay up front 2 years rent in advance but they declined as they said they would only give a new tenant a 6 month contract, which i can understand.

well we are hoping all goes well in this new property fingers crossed.

thank you

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All is well in my rented accomodation so far, the neighbours are friendly and the house hasn't fell apart :)

the landlord has let me change light fittings and add new ones and fit dimmer switches, also done some decorating

I've added value to his investment, maybe he should pay me to live here lol

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