How To Rent From Private Landlords
We often hear about how difficult it can be for landlords to find responsible tenants - but what about the challenges tenants face in finding a great landlord?
Having a decent, fair, and respectful landlord is essential for happy rental living, yet not nearly enough has been done in previous years to empower tenants in finding one. Landlords can vet tenants thoroughly, checking references and financials, while tenants don't usually have a choice in the matter.
According to a recent survey from the Ministry of Housing, a little over 4.4 million households in England live in private rentals, with 23% of homes in this sector failing to meet the Decent Homes Standard.
This systemic unfairness is slowly starting to receive the attention it deserves, with the UK government currently working towards new plans to crack down on bad landlords in the private sector. Proposed changes include improvements in quality standards, landlord fines, and a ban on no-fault evictions.
What makes a good landlord?
A good landlord is reliable, communicative, respectful, and committed to fulfilling their legal obligations to the properties they own and the tenants they accommodate.
A responsible landlord will tend to maintenance and repair issues swiftly, while respectfully educating occupants about their tenant responsibilities.
A good landlord is considerate, just, and fair. They will communicate respectfully without harassment, understanding that their tenants have the right to enjoy their property peacefully. A good landlord will respect a tenant's rights and never violate them or manipulate the truth to advantage themselves over what is fair to all.
Finding a good landlord
When meeting a prospective landlord, it's essential to consider that this meeting is a two-way street in terms of assessing each other's character.
- Present yourself as a switched on person who is aware of their rights.
- Respectfully ask questions directly regarding the property's EPC, gas safety certificate, etc.
- Consider how they present themselves - their clothing, car, and manners - and trust your instincts if they give you a particularly uneasy feeling.
This person may be taking as much as 40% of your income in exchange for living at their property, so if they are not forthcoming with information or treat you with patience and respect, it may be a red flag.
Expect a prospective landlord to be considerate, well-organised, and professional - if they can't present this way at inspection, a sloppy attitude towards their duties will likely persist once you move in.
Good landlords do exist! And they're here at Treehaus...
Here at Treehaus, we're committed to assisting tenants in finding a great landlord and rental property.
We have launched the first-ever national rental database and landlord review platform to give tenants a voice and help ensure that landlords are held more accountable moving forward.
We've also made the process of renting from a private landlord through Treehaus as convenient and straightforward as possible. So with the peace of mind that we have thoroughly vetted all landlords in advance, you can concentrate on finding the perfect home and moving in with no fuss!
Here are the steps to renting from a good private landlord through Treehaus:
Call up or send a message to the landlord using your Treehaus login. Our team will check your enquiry and let you know which times work best to arrange a viewing.
Attend the viewing, and if you like the property, you can make the landlord an offer via your Treehaus dashboard.
Referencing & holding deposit
Once the landlord has considered your offer, and you have come to an agreement, pay the holding deposit of 1 week's rent. This deposit is refundable if the landlord pulls out. The next step is to provide some information so the landlord can be sure that you can afford the property.
Deposit & rent
The next step is to transfer the property deposit and the first month's rent. We'll refund your holding deposit at this point, too. We recommend that this be done via our online dashboard.
Once the referencing and credit checks are completed, we'll prepare your tenancy agreement, which you can then sign digitally. If you rely on a guarantor, they will also need to sign the document. We encourage landlords to use our standard documents, as they have been drawn up to fairly represent both the tenant and landlord. If your chosen landlord insists on using an alternative agreement, check it over thoroughly to ensure that it fairly documents your agreements, otherwise insist that a Treehaus template is used.
The landlord will meet you on move-in day and give you the keys. It is also a good idea to get a check-in report done to record the property's condition on the day you arrive.
You can count on Treehaus
Finding the right rental can feel like a daunting enough task as it is, let alone worrying about getting stuck with a sub-par landlord. At Treehaus, we only promote landlords who are highly reviewed and vetted, so you are free to concentrate on finding the ideal home.