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This article gives top tips to individuals who are looking to rent a property to ensure that their tenancy does not turn into a living nightmare.

Doing the Groundwork

Anything in life comes with the potential to go wrong. Those with the biggest impact tend to include the place where you choose to live, both because these can be the most inconvenient as well as the most financially expensive.

Taking out a tenancy on a property can be a nightmare if you don’t do your homework before signing on the dotted line.

We looked at what you can do before renting a property to make sure you are getting the deal you want.

The Contract

If you have identified a property and have had a housing contract drawn up, take it to your solicitor for them to have a read through it. Many letting agencies will not actually be legal experts, and a lot of their contracts will just be written up from examples on the internet. Therefore, what happens is that a lot of the content is not actually legally binding. By taking your contract to a solicitor you will ensure that you aren’t getting yourself into anything out of the ordinary – in fact it may well be a good sign that you should walk away from the deal altogether!

A legal expert will also be able to simplify things on your behalf so that you are fully clear and understanding of what your obligations are at every stage of the agreement.

Meet the Landlord

I once lived in a rented property where the landlord told me that the letting agents were a nightmare to deal with. Lessons learned from that awful period – now I strongly insist on meeting with the landlord prior to renting their property.

Whether this is at the property itself or at a neutral venue over a cup of coffee, it is always good to have a chat about the property without an agent around, who is probably just trying to pick up their commission as quickly as possible.

Talk to the Residents

If you are viewing a property with the current residents still living there, then you should always have a chat with them. It may be that they are leaving because the letting agent is a nightmare to deal with, or that they are being charged for damages that should be covered by the landlord.

Of course, they may well be biased or angry at the agent or landlord, however you can often get a good indicator to how your tenancy will go, or at least give yourself a reason to do some further digging online or confer with some close friends.

Harworth Estates are among the largest landowners in the UK. Its access to over 30,000 acres of land and properties include dream rental homes.