Any tenancy dispute relating to deposit issues is now dealt with through tenancy deposit schemes. Disputes can arise through disagreement about damage to property and whether it is the tenant's responsibility to pay for damage or the item or part of the building was already damaged. Ensure you carry out an inventory check with a landlord or agent and alert them to any problems when you move in. It is worthwhile also taking photos of damage and ensure these are dated.
Another common dispute is where a landlord does not undertake repairs. Ensure that the contract includes a stipulation on the landlord to carry out repairs and take photos as evidence that work needs to be carried out. Contact the landlord and letting agent and tell them that work needs to be carried out. If they do not respond or ignore your request redress and dispute resolution can be sought from one of the trade bodies or through The Property Ombudsman for a complaint involving a letting agent.
Agencies are allowed to charge fees for administrative costs and checking references and credit history of a tenant. They are not allowed in law to charge a prospective tenant to register details or be supplied with details about available properties to rent. Key advice includes not paying any money to a letting agent until they have found you a suitable place to live.
Ending the Tenancy
If the tenancy is for a fixed term (usually six months) it will end automatically.
Otherwise once the initial period (again usually six months) is over, the tenancy automatically continues until either the landlord or the tenant serve notice to quit. The service of notices can be complex and if there is any doubt it may be best to consult a solicitor to draw up and serve it, as it then becomes their responsibility. Usually it has to be in writing with the tenant serving one month's notice and the landlord two months, but check the tenancy agreement to be sure of the process and the method.
Assured shorthold tenancies are at market rent, if you discover you are paying too much rent you can refer the arrangement to a rent assessment committee, who will compare the rent you are paying to the market as a whole. Rent assessment committees are part of the Residential Tribunal Service.