While you're renting, a breakdown guide for renting newbies.

By Iona Bain

A refresher on the important things you need to know as a tenant. Check our 'how-to-rent' advice.

If you are renting, perhaps while saving your deposit, here’s a memo of the most important things you need to know as a tenant.

The cost

Your rent is not the only cost. Remember to factor in the deposit required at the start of any tenancy, council tax, utility bills, agent fees and moving costs in order to work out whether a particular property is affordable.

The deposit

Your deposit should be registered with an approved Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme and held safely in a protected account covered by a Client Money Protection (CMP) scheme. Ask the agent if they belong to a CMP scheme or look out for the SAFEAGENT logo which symbolises your money will be protected.


A number of safety regulations apply to rented properties. If there are gas appliances, you should be given a gas safety record at the start of your tenancy. Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms should be fitted as appropriate. Electrical appliances must be adequately maintained. Furnishings should comply with fire safety rules. A good agent will also carry out additional health and safety checks.


You should be given a detailed and accurate inventory and schedule of condition at the start of a tenancy which documents the precise condition of the property and its contents. This protects your interests as it means that if you leave the property in the same condition - with the exception of fair wear and tear – you must get your deposit back in full. It is up to you to check the inventory is accurate and to alert the landlord or agent if any corrections are needed at the start of your tenancy.

Your rights

The landlord is responsible for most maintenance and repairs, and certainly to the exterior. The landlord or agent cannot enter your home without prior notice and permission unless in an emergency – typically 24 hours for repairs. You need to know how much notice you or your landlord must give to end the tenancy, who is responsible for repairs, and whether or not you are allowed to decorate.

All this and more should be clearly stated in the tenancy agreement which you should make sure you have read and understood before signing.

If the landlord tries to make deductions from the deposit, they must be itemised and verified.

Your responsibilities

Pay on time. That is the foundation for a good relationship with your agent or landlord. Report any repairs that arise promptly, explaining any circumstances as necessary. Be considerate to neighbours. Don’t sub-let or take in a lodger without permission.

Comments (0)

Log in or register to add your comment
Not a giffgaff member? Register now

giffgaff gameplan

Copyright ©2019 giffgaff

giffgaff Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, Firm Reference Number - 680957. Registered address – giffgaff Ltd, 260 Bath Road, Slough SL1 4DX. Company Number - 04196996.

Posts on this site reflect the opinion of the members posting only, and not necessarily giffgaff’s opinions or views. There’s a lot of information here that can help you, however, you must remember that we operate an open forum and sometimes messages that are posted are misleading, deceptive, or inaccurate. If you follow these tips, you do so at your own risk. Always do your research and check the terms.