Checklist for new tenants. Act now to protect yourself when you leave.

When you move into your new apartment or house you need to make sure you protect yourself from the beginning to avoid additional charges later when you decide to move on. By following some of the guidelines below you will avoid losing your deposit for previous damage to the property when you leave and will avoid paying for updates that are the responsibility of the landlord.

Follow this simple advice to ensure a smooth transition into your new home with peace of mind you have protected yourself in the future.

The Tenancy Agreement

Do not sign the tenancy agreement until you are completely sure you want to move into the property. Make sure you have viewed the property and negotiated any additional necessities before you sign the agreement. Once you have signed the agreement the landlord is in control and can refuse to cancel the agreement. This can be frustrating if you thought the washing machine and dryer maintenance were included but you find they actually aren’t. Make sure you cover all your bases before you sign on the dotted line.

House Shares

If you are planning on moving in with a group of people you need to be very careful about signing the same tenancy agreement as this will make you liable for them and vice versa. It is a good idea to either move in with people you know and trust or discuss some additional ways you can cover yourself from being held responsible for things out of your control.

Tenancy Deposits

The government has set up tenancy deposit schemes to protect you and your deposit and your landlord should issue you with information about the company he/she is using. This notice is usually issued within 14 days. If you are not issued a notice or you are suspicious then contact the scheme administrators to ensure you are protected.


Whenever you move into a new property you need to check if anything is damaged or in meagre condition and notify the landlord in writing. An email would be best because then you have the date of the email for your records. This will protect you at the end of the tenancy from any disputes over your deposit. Make sure to be thorough; check every wall, every inch of carpet and if the apartment is furnished, check each piece of furniture and so on.

Exterior and Building Structure

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You landlord is responsible for the maintenance of the outside and structure of your new home. This covers all installations that provide electricity, gas and water and for all appliances used for sanitary needs. You are completely within your rights to complain about these factors of your home and if your landlord does not cooperate then you can report it to your local environmental health department.

Gas Appliances

It is the responsibility of your landlord to have all gas appliances in your property inspected once a year by a Gas Safe registered engineer and provide a certificate to prove this. If you do not see evidence that this procedure has been acted upon you may complain to your Health and Safety official.

You should keep on file all negotiations you have with your landlord throughout your tenancy for your protection. It is recommended that you ask for any agreements related to the property to be given in writing. All of these documents should be kept in a safe place until you have left the tenancy.

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