In the current challenging economic climate, many tenants are considering cutting back on the floor space they rent or moving to cheaper properties.
If this is a route you are considering, you may wish to consider some of the following tips:
1. Make sure that you read and understand your lease. A remarkable number of difficulties emerge a simply as a result of a tenant not being familiar with the contents of their lease. Tenants would in particular be well advised, for example, to check any notice periods contained in their lease and to insure, when moving out, that any notice is given in good time. Failing to give the required notice will result in further rent being paid payable under the lease which can prove very expensive.
2. Consider trying to negotiate a lower rent with your landlord. Most landlords will treat their rented properties purely as a business and are there sooner to make pragmatic decisions. They may consider keeping you on as a familiar and reliable tenant, even on reduced rental, in preference to new and unfamiliar tenants. Do not forget also that if you do move out, your landlord will also have the additional costs incurred in both finding a tenant and the delay in any new tenant taking occupation of the property.
3. Make sure that you know what your lease says with regards to paying for insurance rates, electricity, gas etc. and especially buildings and contents insurance. You may find that some or all of these are your responsibility.
4. Be careful about dilapidations, which can prove very expensive. Make sure that you leave the concessions in a similar condition to the one in which you rented it. Any sensible tenant will always make sure there is a detailed written assessment of the condition of the property when they moved in. In the event that there are dilapidations to pay when you move out, try to negotiate a figure with your landlord and also consider offering to make, or arrange, any necessary repairs yourself – which can often prove much cheaper than leaving the landlord to do so. Most landlords, when making good a building when a tenant moves out, will have as their priority the standard of the work and the condition of the awards after repair rather than the size of the bill.
5. If you decide to assign your tenancy, make sure you know what the lease says with regard to the obligations imposed on any incoming tenant. In particular beware if the lease leaves you with any liability in the event that the new tenant defaults. If you retain such responsibility under the lease, you may want to pay particular attention to the likely ability of any incoming new tenant to pay the rent.
Despite the widespread use of standard leases, there can be significant financial risks involved in moving concessions. To safeguard yourself, make sure you take legal advice from experienced property Solicitors.