Finding your new home

Guidance on what questions to ask when you have found a home, and information on tenancy agreements and rental fees. 

Tenancy agreement

If you are a lodger, the information in this section does not apply to you.

You should have a written tenancy agreement. This must be clear, understandable and fair.

An assured shorthold tenancy will provide you with the most rights and protections. A landlord should not normally be using a licence as an alternative to an assured shorthold tenancy unless they also live in the property.

Any good landlord will give you a written tenancy agreement so that you are both clear about the nature of any legally binding agreement. It is hard to trust a landlord who will not give you a written tenancy agreement.

If your landlord will not give you a written agreement, the law says that they must give you certain information in writing within 28 days of asking:

  • the date your tenancy started;
  • the rent and when it is to be paid;
  • any provision for rent increases; and
  • the length of your agreement.

Your landlord must give you their name and contact address. If your landlord does not provide you in writing with their name and an address in England or Wales where you could send them notices writing within 21 days, the law says that you do not have to pay rent. However, as soon as an address is provided, backdated rent then becomes due from the start of the tenancy.

If there is a change of landlord, the new landlord must provide you with her/his name and address in writing within two months after the transfer. If not, the previous landlord will remain liable for any breach of the tenancy agreement until either s/he or the new landlord provides the tenant with the new landlord's name and address.

See Shelter's guidance on how to find your landlord.

For more information, please see: