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Considering renting a property from a private landlord or a letting agency? Know your rights and responsibilities as a tenant and those of your landlord.
If you rent from a letting agent, make sure they are registered with a Letting and Managing Agent Redress Scheme.
Letting and managing agents, by law, must display their fees prominently in their office and website.
Check if the property requires a licence and if so, that it is licensed. You can check if it is with the Council or by asking to see the licence.
Visit the property to make sure it meets your needs and is in good repair. 'Read this First' provides a check list of things to look at.
From 1 October 2015, all rented properties must have a smoke detector on every floor of the property used for residential purposes and a carbon monoxide detector in any room that has a solid fuel appliance and is used as living accommodation. Additional fire protection measures may also be required depending on the fire risk or if the property is shared with others.
The agent or landlord must show the energy performance certificate for the property when advertising the property; and if the property has gas, a gas safety check record before you move in or within 28 days of a new check being done.
From 1 October 2015, a landlord under an assured shorthold tenancy must provide the tenant with a copy of "How to rent: the checklist for renting in England", as published by the Department for Communities and Local Government.
Once you have paid a deposit, make sure your landlord protects it in one of the Government approved schemes. Your landlord must do this and within 30 days of taking the deposit inform you which scheme it is protected in.
From 1 February 2016, if you are starting a new tenancy in England, you will have to prove to your landlord that you have a right to rent. The landlord will ask you to show documentation.