Moving to your own place? If you’re renting for the first time follow Shelter’s top tips to avoid the common pitfalls.

Be sure it’s safe
Check the gas safety certificate before you move in. You should also make sure you’re happy with the general condition of the property before you sign an agreement.

Check that your deposit will be protected
Landlords must protect your deposit within 30 days after they’ve received it and must give you full details of which scheme is protecting it and how you can get it back. Use Shelter’s deposit checker tool to make sure your deposit has been protected – it just takes 3 minutes.

Make sure the inventory is accurate
When you move in check and agree with the landlord or agent the list of contents in the property and any existing damage. You could also take your own photos when moving in and moving out. This is the best way to avoid disputes later on. Finally, make sure you have the right contact details for your landlord.

Know your own responsibilities
Renters have obligations too. Your duties as a renter include paying rent and bills on time and not disturbing your neighbours.

Moving in with a mate?
Signing a joint tenancy with your housemates or having individual tenancy agreements with the landlord can have a big impact on your rights. Check that you understand the agreement you have.

Landlord wants to increase the rent?
Your landlord can increase the rent but only at certain times or if s/he is offering you a new agreement, depending on what type of tenancy you have. Check what tenancy type you have on this tenancy checker.

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