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For most of us getting our own place or moving in with friends is a great social experience with the added benefits of more independence. The last thing on our minds is potential legal problems or drawing up contracts. But if things do go wrong they can cost a huge amount of time, money and stress.

What you need to ask when moving into a flat

Depending on your age, simply getting a flat in the first place may be a bit of a challenge, before you even have to think about applications, references and bonds. After that, it’s important to know who has to fix things that break and what you can do if they don’t. If you’re asked to move out or you want to leave yourself, find out how much notice is needed and how you’ll hand over the property. Whether you’re moving in with some mates or signing your own tenancy agreement for the first time, know your rights and what the law says about your situation.

Your rights when you are flatting

If you’re a tenant, your landlord has to treat you fairly and make sure that you’re getting to use and enjoy the place you’re renting. At the same time, you also have to treat your landlord fairly, by paying your rent on time and taking good care of the property. If you don’t see what you’re looking for here, you can find more information on your rights and responsibilities (and your landlord’s rights and responsibilities) on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Tenancy page.

Visit the Youthlaw website for more information on flatting