Citizen’s Advice has released the results of a major new survey that reveals one-third of new tenants put down a deposit on a property before that had seen the contract. This can put them at a major disadvantage; for example, there could be unexpected fees written into the contract that they had not anticipated.
According to the UK government website, the most common type of tenancy is an assured shorthold tenancy.
Tenancies are legally binding documents and vary from property to property. There is concern that unsuspecting tenants are being trapped into contracts that are unfair because they do not want to lose the deposit they have already handed over. Some contracts even include fines if the tenant does not keep the landlord informed of their contact details.
When prospective tenants are looking for specialists in property management Cheltenham has many options, such as https://www.completepropertygroup.co.uk/. By going through a reputable agency, both landlord and tenant can be sure that the process will be transparent and fair to all parties.
Tenants often lack confidence
There is a national housing shortage and tenants often have to compete to get a property, which is perhaps why they do not feel confident when negotiating with a landlord. The survey found that nearly one-third of prospective tenants would not feel confident about negotiating terms and conditions, yet one-quarter of tenants have felt that their contract contained terms that were unfair to them. Despite feeling this way, half of them signed the contract and went ahead with the tenancy anyway.
There also seems to be a lack of understanding of tenancy contracts amongst tenants whereby they just sign this very important document and do not always understand the implications of doing so. It is worrying that 44 per cent of tenants who reported that they had mental health issues had signed a tenancy agreement even though they did not understand it.
Sadly, it seems that some unscrupulous landlords are taking advantage of vulnerable tenants who are desperate to have somewhere to live. Families need to have a roof over their head and they are handing over hundreds of pounds without really understanding what they are getting for their money. This can put them at a disadvantage throughout the term of the tenancy.