Tenants have responsibilities
The number of home owner-occupiers is dwindling, with more and more of us renting our living accommodation and biding time until we can afford to buy.
But the very nature of paying rent to live in a property owned by someone else brings its own rules and responsibilities that no tenant should take lightly, warns the Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA).
The Government's latest English Housing Survey, published this summer, shows a leap in private rented households in England from two million (10 per cent) in 1999 to 3.62 million (17 per cent) in 2010-11, while the number of owner-occupied homes fell.
According to ARLA, the new generation of first-time tenants may not be aware of what is required of them when they move into a rented house or apartment.
Adrian Wray, ARLA's regional representative and director at Bradgate Lettings said: "More people today are renting because they can't get onto the property ladder and while renting offers a great level of freedom, this comes with associated responsibilities and in some cases, liabilities, even though someone else owns the property.
"If these terms are understood, a tenant can enjoy their rental home without worrying about unnecessary disputes arising when they decide to move out."
Responsibilities vary from home to home, said Mr Wray.
"Tenants should always double-check their individual tenancy agreement with a legal expert. I would also advise potential tenants to ensure they choose a regulated agent to ensure a professional, trustworthy service."