4 things to look out for when renting

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Whether you’ve been renting for years or are a first-time renter, regulations change and new laws are introduced, so regardless of how long you’ve been renting your home for, it’s always good to have a little reminder of the following key points.

Safety Deposit Schemes

Whether you live in England, Wales or Scotland, all deposits must be safely stored in a Government approved Tenancy Deposit Protection scheme (TDP). This way you know that it is in safe hands. If you move out of your current property and after all the checks have been completed, the deposit will then be returned to you with any agreed upon deductions for any repairs that may need to be completed.

In England and Wales, landlords can choose from the following three schemes:
- Tenancy Deposit Scheme
- Deposit Protection Service
- mydeposits

Scotland has the following three schemes:
- Letting Protection Service Scotland
- Safe Deposits Scotland
- mydeposits Scotland

Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms

Check that the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are in working order when you move in and throughout your tenancy. Carbon monoxide alarms must be installed in rooms that have a fixed combustion appliance, e.g. boilers, log burners or any other appliances that generate heat. 

In all the UK, one smoke alarm must be installed on every floor and, as of February 2022, Scotland requires all homes to have interlinked fire alarms, as well as a heat alarm in the kitchen. Similarly to Scotland, Wales requires all homes to have a heat alarm in the kitchen, and for each storey in a home to have at least one hardwired smoke alarm that must be interlinked with another.

Gas safety

When you move into a property, your landlord is responsible for providing a gas safety certificate, also called a CP12 certificate. This needs to be checked by a Gas Safe engineer every 12 months to show that all gas appliances in the property are safe. 

House in Multiple Occupation licences

If you live in England and Wales, a property that is rented out to five or more people who share a toilet, bathroom, or kitchen and are not related, must have a House in Multiple Occupation licence, or HMO. In Scotland, rental properties are required to have an HMO licence if three or more non-related individuals or more than two families are living together and sharing the same facilities.

Whether you’re looking to move or simply needed a refresh on current regulations, keep these four key factors in mind to ensure your home is safe.  

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