<strong>Louise Savage</strong><br />DIRECTOR AT RESIDENTIAL LAND<br /><br /><strong>Q. Dear Louise, I am looking to move to London for three years for work and have found an amazing place. I want to be flexible as my job contract may end earlier, but I don&rsquo;t want to have to find a new place every year. What are my options?</strong><br /><br /><strong>A.</strong> When it comes to longer-term rental you would normally sign a year&rsquo;s tenancy agreement and have an option for renewal. You would have to give notice &ndash; at best, two months, at worst six months &ndash; if you wanted to renew or move out. <br /><br />However, the law is on the tenant&rsquo;s side, which means that you would have the option to renew and if you exercise that, the landlord cannot say no. If he wants to sell, then the new landlord would have to accept your tenancy and abide by the same rules. <br /><br />In terms of rent, the increase is set to the retail prices index (RPI). When you choose to renew, the increase will be based on the previous quarter&rsquo;s RPI. But if RPI is negative, then there will be a minimum and a maximum on both sides.<br /><br /><strong>Q. Dear Louise, I&rsquo;m renting out my flat and have an offer from somebody who has a small dog. It&rsquo;s a good offer but I&rsquo;m not sure &ndash; what can I do to ensure my flat stays in good condition?</strong><br /><br /><strong>A.</strong> The first thing you need to do is check whether your lease allows you to have animals. Many mansion blocks won&rsquo;t allow pets so you may have to say no. If the lease gives permission and you are considering accepting the offer, then try to find out a bit more about the dog &ndash; how big is it, breed, is it noisy, how long it will be on its own. <br /><br />If you are worried about the condition of your flat, then you can ask for a bigger deposit and add clauses to the lease. You can demand that the flat is professionally cleaned at the end of the tenancy or that the dog is not left on its own overnight. This should help keep potential damage to a minimum. <br /><br />Louise Savage is director of Residential Land, London&rsquo;s largest prime central London landlord.