They say that moving home can be one of the most stressful things in life. You’re probably slightly on edge about finding the right house and leaving your old one, alongside having to worry about all of the money moving around, packing up your belongings, and relying on others to help transport them to a new place!
With so much uncertainty and stress it is, therefore, good to know some of what you should expect. When you move to a new rented property, there are a number of things which your landlord should give you before you actually move in – by law. These are designed to protect both the tenants and landlords, help to ensure your safety, and avoid any nasty shocks.
It might be the case that your new landlord gives you a whole bundle of documents, but there are five that they legally must provide.
Energy Performance Certificate
Your landlord should give you an up-to-date domestic Energy Performance Certificate – or EPC. This is provided after an assessment carried out by an energy expert who will give the property an energy rating from A to G (with A being the most energy-efficient, and G being the least), as well as some recommendations of how they (or you) can improve the property’s energy efficiency.
An EPC is valuable to you as a tenant as it can give you a good indication of whether you are moving into a property that uses a lot of energy and can help you to predict how high or low your energy bills will be in the future.
It has been a legal requirement since 2008, and they should have the certificate in hand before they put the property on the market to rent. Unless any significant changes are made to the property, the EPC is valid for 10 years.
Government Rental Guide
You should also get a Government Rental Guide, known as “The How to Rent Guide”. The guide is a government-issued document that gives you the details of what your rights are as a tenant who is renting a property, as an attempt to reduce bad practices in the rental market.
The guide doesn’t have to be delivered in paper, it can also be emailed to you. As long as you accept the document, it can be physical or digital.
This has been a requirement for all new tenants who occupy a property after 1st October 2015, and they must also ensure that they are giving you the most up-to-date version.
Gas Safety Certificate
Another document that your landlord must provide you with is a gas safety certificate – if the household has any gas appliances. The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 stipulates that it is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure that gas appliances, fittings, and flues are safe.
They must be serviced in compliance with the manufacturer’s guidelines and gas checks done every 12 months by an engineer who is Gas Safe registered, who will then issue the Gas Safety Certificate. The record of this annual gas check should be given to you within 28 days of the completion of the inspection and you should keep it with the other documents that you have regarding the property.
Their Contact Details
Your landlord should also be giving you contact details for them so that you can get in touch with them in an emergency. This could be the contact details of a letting agent if you are going through them and doesn’t necessarily need to be the landlord’s personal details.
The details that they give you should include a name, address, and phone number.
Your landlord must, by law put your deposit in a Government-Backed Tenancy Deposit Scheme. This is designed to protect you should you have any disputes when you come to leave the property at the end of your tenancy. If there are no disputes, your deposit will be returned to you within 10 days of the end of your contract.
Your landlord should give you paperwork which clearly states how much deposit you have paid as well as which scheme it has been put in.
Moving to a new house is something that most of us try to do as little as possible. It is important, however, that when you do, you know what your rights are as a tenant. With the correct paperwork from your landlord, you can ensure that you are safe and comfortable in your new home and unlikely to run into any problems in the future.