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When moving to the UK to work as a doctor one of the most important things to consider is your accommodation. This blog aims to cover the key points that you may wish to consider when entering into a residential tenancy agreement.
Searching for the perfect property can be difficult. When looking for a property to rent you will need to establish what your budget is and what type of property you require. There are various ways to begin your search, including visiting estate agents, using online property websites, looking in newspapers and asking friends or family who are already in the UK for help.
When you have found the property that you wish to let it is important to ensure that you have a comprehensive tenancy agreement. Below is a list of the things that should be included in your agreement:
Deposit - You should find out how much your deposit is and when it should be paid. Before you pay your deposit you should make sure that you have seen the property, met the landlord or agent and read through the tenancy agreement. You should also carry out checks to ensure that your deposit has been protected in a government backed tenancy deposit scheme and ensure that you received a receipt for payment of your deposit.
Agency Fees - If you have used a letting agent to find your property you should ask if they charge a fee for their services. Letting agents must publish full details of their fees and charges on their website and in their offices.
References, Credit Checks & Guarantors - Some letting agents and private landlords may ask that you undergo a reference and/or credit check to ensure that you are a suitable tenant. They may ask to contact your employer or previous landlord to obtain a reference. They may also carry out a credit check which will involve looking into your financial history. If you are unable to satisfy the credit check some landlords may ask for a guarantor. A guarantor is someone who is willing to pay your rent if you do not pay. You should check your tenancy agreement to establish what the guarantor will be responsible for.
Rent In Advance – Private landlords and letting agents usually ask that you pay the first month’s rent in advance. If this is the case, you should make sure that you budget for your deposit and the first month’s rent to be paid before you move in.
Immigration Checks - From 1 December 2014 all landlords are under an obligation to check the immigration status of a new tenant when letting private rented accommodation.
Safety - You should make sure that you have seen the gas safety certificate and instructions for the electrical items. You should be satisfied with the safety of the fixtures and fittings and ensure that you have keys for the windows and doors.
Inventory - You should ensure that an inventory has been carried out before you move into the property. The inventory is a list of the items in the property and their condition. If possible, you should be present when the inventory is carried out. The inventory may be used when assessing whether you will receive your full deposit at the end of your tenancy.
When you have found your perfect home and the paperwork is complete you can finally move in! Don’t forget to notify your bank, utility provider, council, employers, DVLA and anybody else who may need to know your new address!