Before you sign your tenancy agreement:
1. Make sure you have one. It is important to have a tenancy agreement as a record of what was agreed, as memories fade. If you ever need to claim housing benefit /LHA the benefit office will need to see it.
2. Check that the rent on the agreement is the one agreed. It is not unknown for this to be wrong. While you are at it, check all the other details are correct too, including the spelling of your name etc.
3. Check to see that the agreement refers to a tenancy deposit scheme for your deposit (if you pay one). If it doesn’t, it may mean that your landlord is not going to protect it (see here for tenancy deposit questions answered)
4. Check to see what is said about payment of bills. Is this what was agreed?
5. Check to see if there are any fees, charges or penalty payments set out. For example sometimes there are fees where you pay the rent late, or inventory clerk charges.
If there is anything in the tenancy agreement you do not agree with, ask to have it taken out. If the landlord or agent refuses, consider carefully whether you want this property. Although if it is really onerous, the clause may be unenforceable anyway.
See my 31 days of tips for more tenancy agreement information.
See more help for tenants on Landlord Law.