Know Your Rights as a Tenant or Leaseholder

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Published: 08th August 2012
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Renting property, whether it’s for personal or commercial use is something that almost every person on the planet has done at some point – but do we know our rights when it comes to renting or leasing property?

Whether you’re already renting property, be it a flat, a house or even a luxury apartment, you’ll know that the rental market can be fraught with issues. These issues can take many forms, such as unreliable landlords, unhelpful flatmates, unscrupulous letting agencies, and sub standard properties. It may surprise you to hear that this can also apply to business owners who lease commercial properties, such as shops, offices or garages. So, with so many people renting or leasing properties, and each of them having funny or even troubling stories about their properties, how can we avoid the problems listed above? Here are a few ideas.

Know Your Rights
It sounds very simple doesn’t it? But the fact of the matter is that it’s vital that tenants are aware of their rights when it comes to renting or leasing property. It doesn’t matter if the property is going to be used as someone’s home, or whether it’s being used to house someone’s business; as some of the rules are very similar.

So, before you start looking for somewhere, whether it’s commercial property in Edinburgh, or a nice cosy little home for your family, it’s vital that you start reading up on your rights and find out what you need to know to ensure that you get the best deal for the property, or know who to turn to if there are any problems.

In order to conduct this research, you need some good advice about where to start; local housing and business charities can often provide support with forms or explain any legal jargon for free, or for a small donation. The Citizens Advice Bureau can also be very helpful, as their trained volunteers will have access to the very latest information and legislation on all things to do with property. As with many charities, their advice is free, and they can advice you on everything from deposits, to contracts to hidden charges by landlords.

Knowledge is Power
As the saying goes, ‘knowledge is power’, and nowhere could this be more apt than when you’re looking for property. So arm yourself with all the knowledge you can find, ask the landlord or property agent as many questions as possible, and don’t be frightened of being seen as ‘pushy’, you are going to be renting or letting a property, so you need to make sure that it’s the right one for you.

Get a Second Opinion
If you’re looking to rent a new home take your partner, your flatmate or even your mother with you, because they will be able to see things that you might have originally overlooked. Share your knowledge with them, so that they might be able to remind you of certain questions you were going to ask, or they could even query things like charges on your behalf.

Be Patient
We all know that looking for property can take it a while, it can be tedious, and it can also be difficult, but that doesn’t mean you’re not going to find the right property for you. So, find a good letting agent, or a very well-respected commercial property company, whether they’re Commercial Property Agents Edinburgh
or London – and you will find the right property for you.

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