Top Tips For First Time Renters!
Due to the rapid changes in the property market in the past few years, it’s become essential for renters to know a few industry practices to guarantee that you are renting a liveable, safe, and affordable property. To get you started, I’m sharing a few basic things that first time renters should know:
Investigate on the property!
Find out all that you can about the property before you move in.
During the viewing, use your time to make a thorough inspection of the property for rent. Visual inspections don’t just cut it, since there are many hidden problems around rented properties.
Turn all the lights and taps around the house on and off to make sure that there are no problems with wiring and water pressure. In terms of security checks, don’t forget to test if all the doors, windows, and locks open and close tightly when locked.
Renting in a very competitive market isn’t about inspecting the physical room anymore; you have to check if the price is right too! Consult London rental guides before you make an offer for a price. These lists show the average rental rates for every area in London, so you can use that to double check if the asking price is fair.
Read the contract
Before you can move your stuff in, you and the landlord (or his letting agent) will have to sign a contract called an assured short hold tenancy agreements (AST).
When I moved in to my first apartment, I didn’t re-read the lease contract I was signing. I was so overwhelmed with the excitement of moving out of my parent’s house that I didn’t check the conditions of my lease. As a result, I got booted off my first flat, because I didn’t read that pets weren’t allowed in that specific rental property.
It’s not as affordable as you think
Hundreds of articles I’ve read about renting all claim that renting is way cheaper than buying a house. This is true. However, this doesn’t mean that rental rates are cheap (they’re not).
In fact, these days you’ll have to save a couple thousand before you can move in a property for rent. Don’t believe me? Here’s a breakdown of expected costs:
- deposit (usually around 6 weeks* rent): £1,662.00
- 1st month’s rent (paid upfront): £1,200.00
- administration fees*: £200.00
- referencing fees*: £60.00
*Rate of fees vary for every agency
All these added together give you a total cost of £3,122.00 before you even step in the property. But wait, the costs don’t stop there!
Once you move in, household bills for electricity, water supply, council tax, landline phones, digital TV or satellite TV subscriptions, broadband, and contents insurance are just some of the monthly costs that you’d have to handle aside from monthly rent.
It’s very important to consider all these additional costs when calculating your budget. Otherwise, you may find yourself cash-strapped and living from paycheque to paycheque. Avoid putting yourself in financial distress by making sure the place you rent is something you can truly afford.
I hope these updated tips for renting can help you find the perfect place to rent in the UK without burning a hole in your pocket.