by Ed Firmin
Posted on Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015 at 10:00
Before you finally sign on the dotted line, it’s worth going through this checklist below to ensure you’ve got everything covered.
There are two types of contracts that you could be signing – a joint tenancy agreement and an individual contract.
A joint tenancy agreement means that you are all jointly responsible for the property, and for paying the rent. Therefore, if one of you is late, or can’t pay, you all have to make up the shortfall. Likewise, if one of you damages something, then it could mean that all your deposits are affected, and an amount taken from all of you from one person’s actions. Not that this would necessarily happen, but it’s always worth bearing in mind.
Then read through the contract. I know it’s tempting to assume it’s ok, as probably hundreds of people have signed it before you, but it’s still worth checking.
For example, you need to ensure your name is on there, it’s spelt correctly, the correct rent amount is stated, etc. Ensure the deposit you put down will be protected and that you know the name of the Government approved scheme that it will be held in.
Check your obligations, for example, are you responsible for keeping the garden maintained, are you allowed to hang things on the wall, use blu tack etc.? Check what they’ve asked for in terms of rent during the summer.
Also check that the agreement mentions an inventory, and if not, then you should prepare to undertake your own, so that there’s less likely to be any disputes as to the condition of furniture etc, when you move out.
If you’ve asked for any repairs to be undertaken before you move in, then ensure that’s all included in the agreement.
If your parents are acting as a guarantor, they may well have to sign their own agreement, but ensure that your agreement mentions them as well.
Don’t be afraid to ask for something to be amended if you aren’t happy.
Ensure you are perfectly happy and understand everything about the agreement before you put your signature to it. There’s no going back once you’ve signed!
If you would like some advice about tenancy agreements, please do get in touch, I can advise you and explain anything you’re not sure about.