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The term ‘Gen­er­a­tion Rent’ doesn’t just ap­ply to mil­len­ni­als, the over-40s are also in­creas­ingly turn­ing to pri­vate land­lords for their ac­com­mo­da­tion. If you’re rent­ing, here’s how to pro­tect your­self…

Good Housekeeping (UK) - - Editor’s Letter -

Te­nancy agree­ments usu­ally last for around six to 12 months, but this could soon change un­der new Gov­ern­ment plans, which could see the in­tro­duc­tion of a min­i­mum te­nancy term of three years, giv­ing renters more se­cu­rity. If you’re plan­ning to move into rented ac­com­mo­da­tion (or have a child who is), this is what you need to know:

PRO­TECT YOUR DE­POSIT

You’re likely to be re­quired to fork out at least four to five weeks’ rent in ad­vance as a de­posit. Your land­lord is re­quired to legally place your de­posit in one of three gov­ern­men­tap­proved Te­nancy De­posit Pro­tec­tion Schemes within 30 days of you pay­ing it. They should give you proof of this. For more in­for­ma­tion, go to ten­an­cy­de­positscheme.com.

PRO­TECT YOUR GOODS

While you’re not re­spon­si­ble for build­ings in­sur­ance when you rent, it’s a good idea to get con­tents in­sur­ance to pro­tect your pos­ses­sions.

WRITE AN IN­VEN­TORY

When you move in, agree a check­list with your land­lord of ev­ery­thing that’s in­cluded as part of the te­nancy – also list any faults and dam­age to the prop­erty, fur­ni­ture and fit­tings. It’s worth taking pic­tures when you move in, so that when you move out, you won’t be pe­nalised for any dam­age that was al­ready there.

BE­WARE OF FEES

Let­ting agents are known for their high fees, so make sure you’re told ex­actly what you are being charged for. They can’t charge you for reg­is­ter­ing or show­ing you a list of prop­er­ties, for ex­am­ple.

PRO­TECT YOUR CREDIT SCORE

As long as you’re a great ten­ant who pays their rent on time, you can make it count towards im­prov­ing your credit his­tory. Use Cred­it­lad­der, which will re­port your rental pay­ments to credit ref­er­ence agency Ex­pe­rian.

DON’T FOR­GET THE BILLS

Re­mem­ber, un­less spec­i­fied, you’re in charge of bills – this in­cludes council tax, TV li­cence and tele­phone bills.

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