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Contract checking

 

Housing contracts are legally binding, so you need to carefully read and check them before you sign. This section offers tips on the key things to look out for.

Nearly all landlords/agents in Durham use ‘assured shorthold contracts’, which you can check using the tool below. If you’re not sure if your contract is an assured shorthold, work out your tenancy status using Shelter’s tenancy checker.

Did you know?

Private landlords in England have to check that all adults living in their properties have the right to live in the UK. This is known as the right to rent.

If you live with your landlord then you are likely to be a lodger and will have more reduced rights. Find out more about being a lodger.

Check your contract

Want to know what should be in your contract? Use our contract checking tool to find out the strength of your contract.

If you’d rather check your contract by hand, download a pdf version here.

WHAT OTHER DOCUMENTS SHOULD MY LANDLORD PROVIDE ME WITH?

  • A copy of 'How to rent: the checklist for renting in England'
  • A current energy performance certificate
  • A current gas safety certificate
  • A copy of your HMO licence if you live in a House of Multiple Occupation (if five or more tenants live together over three or more floors, your landlord has to have a licence and fulfil extra safety requirements).

WHAT IF I HAVE DOUBTS?

Don’t sign if you have any doubts. If you don’t understand something in your contract, ask your landlord first. You can also talk to the current tenants about their experiences of the house and the landlord/agent for assurance.

WHAT IF MY LANDLORD/AGENT IS CARRYING OUT WORK DURING THE SUMMER?

If your landlord/agent advises you that they are carrying out work during the summer months on the assumption that you will not be there, make sure you are given full details of what work is being carried out, how long it will take and what measures will be put in place if the work is not completed in time. You can ask for a rent reduction during any period the property is not fully available to you.

Top tip!

Paying rent monthly is not the same as paying four weekly. To calculate monthly rent, multiply the weekly rent by 52 and then divide by 12.

Page last reviewed: 09/11/2018