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Am I ready to be a tenant?

Am I ready to be a tenant?

We are very pleased that you are seeking alternative accommodation.

However, it is important to think about what it will be like being offered a home and being a tenant.  Being a tenant carries responsibilities, particularly in terms of how you manage your money and how you look after the home.  Signing a tenancy agreement with a landlord, whether it is the local authority or another housing provider, commits you both financially and in keeping the home in good order.  At the start of a tenancy, you have to pay rent in advance of between one week and one month's rent, depending on the landlord.  It is very important to have this cash in hand, along with money for removal costs and any floor coverings, curtains, white goods and furniture that you will need.  Rent in advance is required to ensure that you are in credit with your rent, rent generally being due in advance.

When you are a tenant, it is important to -

  • take good care of the physical fabric of the home eg repair or pay for any damage caused by you, your family or your friends, ventilate and heat the home properly and turn off the water if you are away from home in cold weather
  • be considerate of your neighbours eg ensure family and friends behave well at your home, keep noise down, do not allow rubbish to accumulate outside and keep any garden, garage or allocated parking space in good order
  • only have paying guests in the home if the landlord allows it

Your landlord could take legal action to evict you from your home if you don’t fulfil these responsibilities.  The key questions to ask yourself are -

  1. Can I budget to pay the rent and essential living costs without exceeding my income?
  2. If I will need help with housing costs, do I understand how this kind of assistance works?
  3. Am I able to keep a home and its immediate surroundings in good order?
  4. Will renting a social rented home provide the space and facilities that I want?

Please see the next pages for more information about how to be a good tenant.