General advice & points to watch

Renting a flat is a continuing and binding obligation - always check you know all you will be required to do before committing yourself.

HMO Licences
Before signing any tenancy agreements, students are advised to check with the landlord that the flat has planning permission for multiple occupancy use and more importantly that there are no enforcement notices prohibiting multiple occupancy use. Advice can be obtained from Glasgow District Council Planning Department regarding the planning situation of any property (Tel 0141 287 6531). N.B. From 1st October 2003 all flats housing 3 or more students should have applied for a licence.

Landlord Registration
Check if your landlord is registered. From 30th April 2006, all private landlords letting properties in Scotland must have applied for registration in the register of landlords. Resident landlords letting part of their own home are exempt under this scheme.

The aim of landlord registration is to ensure that all private landlords in Scotland are 'fit and proper' to be letting residential property. The requirement will help local authorities to remove disreputable landlords from the market and protect tenants and their neighbours from the impact of antisocial behaviour and mismanaged property on the wider community.

Rents and Deposits
You should know exactly how much the rent is, when and how you pay. It is better to pay by cheque, or to be sure you get a receipt if paying by cash. Don't forget you must be sure of being able to keep up with the rent payments before you commit yourself. Most landlords require a deposit to cover any damage to the property or its contents, and to cover any outstanding bills at the end of the tenancy. It is usually about one month's rent, and is recoverable at the end of the tenancy, as long as no damage has been done and all bills have been paid. Remember to keep all receipts until the end of the contract and deposits have been refunded.

Make sure you read carefully and understand the conditions of the contract. Note carefully the period of the lease and the rental due.

Make sure you receive and check the inventory with the landlord prior to signing the lease. Always keep a copy. If there is no inventory make one yourself and ask the landlord to check it.

If in doubt ask for advice - check first - sign later!