Renting A Property
10 Quick Renting Tips
1. Work out what you can afford
As a guide, when letting agents check on your affordability, they usually work on a maximum of 35% of your salary being spent on rent.
Over that and you could be overstretching yourself - as you still need to live! It's also not just a case of monthly rent payments.
You'll be asked for a deposit and there will be running costs. Plus, you need to furnish the place too.
2. Know what's expected of you
Make sure you look at the obligations of both landlord and tenant such as maintenance of the property, respective liabilities, renewal processes and costs, and query anything with the agent by email so you have a record.
Often problems - such as dodgy heating or insulation - rear their head in the winter.
3. Tenancy agreements are legally binding
While landlords may make allowances beyond what is in the paperwork, they can also use it to enforce the law rigidly. So make sure you're happy with the whole of the rental agreement and not just the bricks and mortar.
4. Understand tenant deposit protection schemes
Tenancy deposit protection (TDP) schemes ensure that your deposit is kept safe. Landlords must use one of three government approved schemes. Whilst the letting agent may take the money, it is the landlord's responsibility so make sure you receive proof that this has happened.
5. Check the inventory
The inventory will provide the state of the property when you move in. Documenting this at the start will help negate disputes when you come to leave. If you take photos, videos, or even audio files, make sure they are saved in a safe place.
6. Know the break clause
Check if there is a break clause and when it is. It's important to understand that it can be activated by both the tenant and the landlord, because you don't want to be caught out at short notice.
7. Understand renewal costs
While it might seem a long way off, what will happen at the end of the contract? Some agents might try and charge renewal costs for extending and taking out a new contract so ask questions up front.
8. Don't forget insurance
The landlord should be covering the buildings insurance, but - unless you're renting a furnished home - then the contents is yours, and if it's valuable, you should think about cover.
9. Sort out utilities asap
Find out who is providing the utilities and what the process is to take over these services. Perhaps you may be able to ask the agent to speak to the landlord or existing tenants to ensure the services are still running, thereby avoiding any reconnection fees. Also, as a tenant, you are allowed to switch to cheaper deals for energy of broadband and don't have to stay with the existing suppliers.
10. Plan moving day
Make sure you know where you're going, how long it'll take to get there, how many trips it will be and that there's somewhere to park.