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Rental advice

From finding a property to securing your rental, our guide to renting a home.

If you’re new to renting, there are a few things to consider to make sure you get the most out of your experience and ensure it is a happy and enjoyable one.

Key considerations:

Affordability

The key to enjoying your perfect property is making sure you can afford it. Household bills can make a big difference to the affordability of a home and factoring these in at the start of your journey will vastly reduce any unexpected stress later on.

Things to consider include: Council tax, water rates, energy costs, insurance and broadband.

Want vs. Need

Once you’ve established what your budget can afford you, it’s important to look at what you need vs. what you want from your ideal property with that in mind. Making a list of things you must have and things you can live without will help focus your mind on what’s really important and help you make the right choice.

Viewing a property

With a clearer idea of what you want from a property, the next step is to go and see some. What may look great on screen will give you an impression, but in reality properties can feel quite different. On the other hand, those that don’t look so great can sometimes turn out to be perfect, when you go inside.

When viewing a property, it’s a good idea to think about the practicalities of living there, too.

For example, what’s the phone signal like? how fast is the broadband? What’s access like? Is there ample storage space? Who takes care of maintenance issues? These are all good questions that will help you get a feel for what it’ll be like to live there.

Securing the property

The rental property market is buoyant one so it’s a good idea to move quickly once you’ve decided on the property you want. First things first, make an offer and provide any helpful information to allow the landlord to make an informed decision, e.g. ready to move in straight away or from a certain date.

If the offer is accepted, you’ll need to make a down-payment to secure it so that it’s taken off the market pending contracts being signed. This shows good faith and proves you’re serious. Once the rental is agreed you’ll need to provide ID and references plus proof of income and residency, which we can assist you with when the time comes.

When all the checks have been carried out and the landlord is satisfied, you simply pay the deposit + first month’s rent and start packing for your new home!

Tenancy agreements

Part of securing your tenancy is signing a tenancy agreement. This is a contract between yourself and the agent or landlord that makes the property rental legal and above board.

Each party has responsibilities which are laid out and will feature two types of terms: Express and implied.

Express terms are written into the contract and cover things like length of tenancy, rent amount and payment terms.

Implied terms are not written down but are nevertheless still legally required, such as the responsibility of the agent or landlord to carry out inspections and repairs, with the responsibility of the tenant to allow access to the property.

It’s important to note that as the tenant it is your responsibility to keep the property clean, free from rubbish, sufficiently ventilated and heated during winter. There may also be other conditions such as pets, smoking and decorating that will need to be signed off beforehand.

Whilst it’s the landlord’s responsibility to carry out repairs and maintenance, it is your responsibility to report them, including if any damage was caused by yourself.

Moving out

Depending on the terms of your agreement, you would need to give notice to your agent or landlord that you are moving out. This depends on whether it’s a fixed term rental or a rolling contract as to how soon you need to notify anyone.

Your tenancy agreement will contain details of things you need to do before you vacate the property and usually includes things like cleaning, filling any small holes or chips to the decoration and that the inventory matches when you moved in.

It’s important that you give your suppliers as much notice as possible too, so contacting your phone company, utilities providers and bank or building society to let them know you’re moving will help you avoid unexpected costs and any missed correspondence.

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