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1. Check you can not only afford the rent and deposit but also your new home’s running costs;

2. Make available sufficient information to satisfy tenant referencing;

3. Find out which of 3 government-backed deposit schemes will protect your deposit; 

4. Ignore properties for which landlord or letting agents can’t supply an updated EPC and/or gas, furniture, and preferably, electrical safety certificates;

5. Check the tenancy agreement with a solicitor and only sign if satisfied you can meet your responsibilities and any queries arising will be dealt with appropriately;

6. Arrange contents insurance and confirm adequate buildings cover is in place;

7. Confirm the inventory is correct on the day you move in – and that gas and electric supplies as well as smoke alarms  are operating satisfactorily;

8. Ensure heating and hot water is working and gas/electric meter readings are taken;

9. Find out which parts of the property you’ve responsible for e.g. garden, balcony, windows, etc, repairs, decoration, etc then advise agents/landlords in writing of any maintenance issues asap; and

10. Make sure you know what you can/can’t change on your letting Agreement!

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