Moving to the UK: How to be a Prudent Tenant?

Despite the Brexit talks and deadline of March 2019, there is still a considerable number of migrants entering the UK for a long term stay or with a view to settle here.

For those who are in the younger age bracket, single or simply looking to share a home, it is highly likely that people will have recourse to websites for house shares to find a room to rent - Especially in London, where the accommodation prices are borderline indecent.

If you are looking to rent in the UK, here is my advice: Please be a prudent tenant and make sure that you have a Tenancy Agreement, ideally an Assured Shorthold Tenant (“AST”).

Having an AST would guarantee the following:

  • That there is a clear term for the duration of your tenancy;
  • That there is a clear notice period defined;
  • That the property demised to you is defined;
  • That there is a clear statement of the rent payable;
  • That there is a clear statement of the deposit payable – and a reference to a check in / inventory;
  • That you know your rights and obligations;
  • That you know your landlord’s rights and obligations.

It is more and more common that we receive enquiries from tenants who have moved into an accommodation and are left to pay extra in lieu of an undetermined notice or have to forfeit their deposit since they do not have a tenancy agreement setting out the above terms clearly.

Having an AST would also show that your landlord cares enough to protect your rights and his, including his property and his obligations of repairs.

If you move into a rented home or house share, remember to be a prudent tenant and ask to be on an AST. You will avoid various troubles down the line and make sure that you know what you are getting into.

This article is written by Claire d'Humilly de Serraval. Claire is a Solicitor qualified to practise in England and Wales. She specialises in Corporate/Commercial matters, immigration and landlord and tenant litigation.