NLA lists the top tips on how to search for a landlord you can trust

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THE NATIONAL Landlords Association (NLA) has compiled a list of the top things a tenant should look for when they are searching for the ideal landlord.

l A survey by the NLA found 96 per cent of landlords have good relations with their tenants. But there are a number of things tenants can look out for when renting a property to ensure they establish a good relationship from the start.

l Ask if the landlord is a member of a professional organisation like the NLA. This shows they are aware of their obligations as a landlord and understand the rules and regulations relating to the letting of private-residential property.

l Make sure the landlord provides a proper Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) agreement that both parties sign. This is the contractual agreement outlining the length of the tenancy, the amount of rent, when it is to be paid, any deposit details, and the obligations of both parties.

l Check any deposit is protected. Landlords are required to protect their tenant’s deposit with a government-authorised scheme such as my|deposits and inform the tenant that they have done so. If there is a dispute over the return of the deposit, the scheme will help resolve it.

l Ensure the landlord provides an inventory, detailing furnishings within the property and their condition. Both parties should agree to its contents and sign it.

l Ask for a gas safety record to show that all gas appliances provided by the landlord have been checked within the past 12 months. Landlords are required to have a gas safety check carried out annually by a ‘Gas Safe’ registered engineer.

l Read the property’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). This must be provided by the landlord for most lettings and can help when budgeting for energy bills.

l If urgent repairs are needed to the property, ensure that the landlord is notified as soon as possible. Problems should be fixed within a reasonable time.

David Salusbury, NLA chairman, commented: “The majority of landlords and tenants get on very well and by following this advice, tenants will ensure they find a landlord who is aware of their responsibilities to their tenants.

“Landlords who are accredited by a scheme, such as one offered by the NLA, have not only proved they are well versed in the laws surrounding the private rented sector (PRS), but have also committed to ongoing development and learning.

“Ask if your landlord is a member of the NLA, or even better, if they are NLA accredited.”

To check whether your landlord is a member of the NLA, visit http://www.landlords.org.