therightroom is an online listing website for rooms and properties rather than a letting agency. We provide the platform for landlords to list their properties and connect with potential flatmmates. While we do our best to ensure that adverts are genuine and allow users to also report suspicious advert, we have also provide information on how you can further protect yourself.
How to Protect Yourself
When searching for a room, the first thing you must to is to check every details in the advert and is any thing seems suspicious or looks too good to be true, then you should be careful. You should normally check:
- That there is a picture and ensure it doesn’t look suspicion in any way.
- The price that it is not to cheap or too expensive for the area.
- If the advertiser is asking for any money in advance before they show you the property.
- If the advertiser is asking to pay any money through wire transfer.
- If the response from the advertiser does not tally with what was advertised.
If you are suspicious of the advert in ay way report the advert to the help team here.
Viewing the Property
More importantly always ensure that you view the room before making any payment to the landlord or advertiser. Before you make any payment make sure that you are comfortable with the property and ask as many question as possible. You can ask about the terms of contract and other certain rules regarding the property.
If you are viewing a property especially for women try not to go alone and inform people where you are going including the address and the person. Do not accept to meet any where else except the property. When you get to the address look around properly to see if the area is secure enough to live in. of you area road and cannot view the property, we do not advice you pay through western union or any other service. You can use Escrow service which should give you more guarantee.
Before you start searching for a place, have in mind that you will be living there for a long time except for short stay, so it is important that you consider thinking about what you are looking for – the type of property, your budget, the location, transport system, amenities and security.
The Property & Budget
Make sure you know the type of property you are looking inline with your budget. There are various types of rooms on therightroom from single room to ensuite flatshare and houseshare or a whole property. Their prices mainly depend on the type of property and the amenities available in the property.
Location & Transportation
You may want to check how easy or far the place will be from your school if you are a student or work if you are a professional or any other place. What type of transport system you require and if you are driving you may wan to rent a place with parking space. You may also want to consider shops and convenience store around the place for easy shopping
Consider the amenities such as washing machine, electricity, heating system you require and if they will be bills inclusive or not. Having a place with bills inclusive will help keep down your expenses. Write down all the amenities you will require as well as things you will expect in the property.
You want to rent a place that you will be comfortable walking around even at night alone. Css it is important that you also consider the safety of the property and the surroundings.
Write the list of the things you would expect and look for property that meet most of them.
Here we explains different type of property available:
Rooms to Let
These are place available within a property either in a flat or house. The landlord or the agent will usually have a separate aggreement with all the people living in the property. You may be living with a live-in landlord or live-out landlord and this will affect the type of contract you will have with them and the rules.
Flat or House share
There is much distinction between house and flat share. With Flatshare you will have your own bedroom in a flat and share other facilities with other people living in the flat. In house share you will also have your own bedroom and also share facilities with other people living in the House. The only difference here is that one is a flat and the other is a house.
Ensuite are properties the bathroom or bedroom are directly connected to each other. This means that you will have your own bedroom but you may or not share other amenities. I some cases you will most certainly have a kitchen also to yourself. In any case this information should be provided on the advert.
When looking for a new place, rent and expenses such as bills can be the highest monthly expenses you will take on. You will have to plan your budget properly and consider the most essential things;
Rent and Bills
The rent will be no doubt the biggest expenses when moving a new house. Work out how much you can afford monthly including bills and other expenses and make sure that you are not spending more than wha you can for rent. You could also look for rooms with bills inclusive, this could really help reduce your expenses.
In most cases you will be asked to provide a security deposit. The security deposit will vary between 4 weeks and 6 weeks, which normally covers the cost of potential damages or unpaid rent. The security deposit will however be paid back if everything remain perfect at the end of the tenancy.
If you are renting your room through an agent, it is almost expected that they will ask you to pay some charges in the range of £100 and upward, which is usually paid up front and not refundable. However, in Scotland the agency fee are illegal you may have to check before paying.
Your right depends if you are living with a live in landlord or live out. If you are living with a live in landlord you are not legally a tenant but a lodger or an excluded occupier, so you don’t have a tenancy but a license. This is the main distinction that may have implication on your right.
If you are renting with a live in landlord, then the house will be the landlord main place of residence, so any contract will mostly be in their favour. If they want you to leave the house, they will normally provide a 28days notice or less. It is recommended that a contract is signed between you and the landlord as well as agreeing a set of rules before moving into the house.
But remember as a lodger you will not be able to restrict the landlord from your room and will not be able to put lock on your door. Although they have the right to enter your room, with a notice in advance but should always respect your privacy.
Live-out Landlord and Agents
If you are renting from a live -out landlord or agent, yo should expect to have a contract as a tenant. The right you have will depend on the terms of agreement in the contract you signed with the landlord or agent. You will be expected to see out the length of contract signed so as the landlord. Any alteration will be by mutual agreement, giving you a better security to a lodger.
Unlike a lodger, you have the total right to your space for the period of the contract. If the landlord needs to enter your room, they will inform you usually 24 hours in advance (except in cases of emergency) when they will need access to your room.
Note: if there is any damage in the house always inform your landlord or agent as you could make things worse and may be held responsible or any expenses. Although basic things such as changing of bulbs or clearing the sink is expected.
Tenancy agreement is a contract between you and the landlord. The agreement gives you the legal right to live in the property as long as you pay the rent and follow the terms of contract. The term can be oral but is usually written down and sign by both the tenant and the landlord.
The tenancy agreement can either be fixed term (for a period of time) or Periodic (week-by-week or month-by-month). For more information visit GOV.UK
The tenancy agreement scheme was only launched on 1 April 2013 for landlords to put tenants deposit in a government-backed tenancy deposit scheme (TDS) if they are letting a home on an Assured Shorthand Tenancy (AST) that stated after 6 April 2007.
Under the TDS rules you can request for your deposit immediately after you moved out of the property, except you are behind on rent or have made any damage to the property. the landlord will inform you of the scheme they have used to protect your deposit and their contact details, how much deposit you have paid and information on circumstances where the landlord can make a deduction.
N:B- Ensure you ask your landlord how your deposit will/was protected and information on how to contact them including any clause in the tenancy agreement where the landlord can deduct form the deposit. You having this information will also compel the landlord to comply with the law and the terms and conditions.
For more information on tenancy agreement visit TDP
When you first moved in, you will normally be asked to sign an inventory that contain all the list of the furnitures in the house including their sate and condition.
When signing the document it is advised that the items are checked thoroughly as you could be liable for any damage at the end of the tenancy, which could affects your deposit.
If there is any discrepancies, it is worth mentioning this to the landlord or agents and if possible have a photograph for future reference.
While some landlords might to be interested in inventory, it might be a good idea to also photograph the property for future reference. Also ensure that you return the property in a good and reasonable condition, although some wear and tear may be acceptable.
Sharing with other people or living in a whole property yourself comes wit some risk such as break-in, fire and so on. Having a content insurance will help to protect you from pjs kind of risk. There are various insurance companies you can choose from o help protect your property against unforeseen circumstances.
Since 1st of February 2016, the law requires that landlord check that there tenant or lodgers have the legal right to rent a property in England. The checks is usually done 28 days of the start of the tenancy by the landlord.
The landlord will usually asked for proof that you are legally allowed to live in the UK and in most cases copies of the document you presented will be taken as proof.
For more information and what document is required visit Right to rent.
When you move to your new property, you may want to consider the bills if the property is not bills inclusive and/or you will be living with other people.
While living with other people exciting, you don’t want to be running after your housemate for rent. Ensure that you agree with other when bills will be paid and how.
Also when you move in a new place, the previous tenants may have some pending bills unpaid. This is not your fault and your responsibility, get in touch with the company and let them know you just moved in so they can update their record. If the previous tenant have left a forwarding address you can forward the this to them as it may damage their credit rating if left unpaid.
It is very good to know and bond with your new flat or house mates. One thing you want to void is arguments, as this can be bring disharmony. Get to know everyone and have a good relationship with them. This way you be able to understand each other. More importantly, when you are living with people, ensure that you clean up after yourself and not leave any mess behind, as this may set you off on the wrong foot.
Sometimes you may get a place and then find out it is not the right one for you.
If this happens you may may be able to negotiate with your landlord on mutual agreement if yo are on good terms with them. You can have the discussion with them, as any agreement may also suite them, you never know. Nevertheless, When you sign up a contract it is advisable that you comply with the terms of the contract, so you don’t find yourself in any trouble.
Ending your contract
Even if at the end of the contract you will be living the property, it is also advisable to notify the landlord stating he date you will be moving out, which should normally be at least a month in advance. This will give the landlord time to make arrangement for example your deposit of you have one with them.