Contracts can seem like a scary thing; don't worry and don't rush. We'll talk through some of the main things to look out for, what to do and what not to. Again - don’t feel pressured to sign the contract straight away! If you find the house of your dreams let it be under your terms, not the landlords’. You have every right to read over the contract before you sign.
Get it in writing
- you don’t have to sign on the day. Your landlord should give you 24 hours to take the contract away to read it; the property should be held during this time.
- Are there any improvements or changes to the property the landlord has agreed to? Make sure it’s in writing, dated and signed.
- Check you and your landlord have identical copies of the contract.
- Keep your contract safe, for your whole time at the property.
Type of contract
- Is it joint or an individual contract? Individual contracts are better, as joint contracts leave you liable for rent or damage by other tenants. If you are on a joint contact make sure it’s with people you trust.
- Have you been asked to identify a guarantor and do they need to sign a form?
Charges, Fees, Payments
- Never make a payment (including deposit) before signing the contract.
- Check if your deposit is going to be protected.
- Clarify when and how does your rent have to be paid.
- Have you negotiated a different rate for summer months?
- Have you checked for any additional charges?