POSTED 23 July 2018 Lettings

The Ultimate Guide for Renting a Property

First time renter or just looking to get the best tenancy agreement for you? Here are some tips to help achieve a happy rental experience, from finding the right place for you to getting the most out of your landlord.

 

Before the Rental search begins

Make sure you are financially prepared for the rent and the fees. Before you move in there are fees required to pay to cover references, credit checks etc. On top of this a security deposit and the first months rent are usually paid up front.

It's best to consider whether the properties being considered will have bills included or not, as properties not including bills may see you spending an additional £60-100 to cover these costs.

Table is based on a rental property of £ 900pcm 
Costs

Referencing and agent fees

£50 - 500

Security deposit

£1350

First month's rent

£900

Total Cost £2300 - £2750
 

Finding a place to rent

Think carefully about the sort of property you would like, is a top-floor flat suitable especially if you have young children or a physical disability? If renting as a couple, would a two bedroom apartment or large double-bedroom suffice instead?. Other questions to consider during this process include:

  • Are you a driver? You may want to get somewhere with off street parking or a garage 

  • Just graduated from university? You may want somewhere fully furnished.

  • Do you need a garden for children or pets?

Arrange viewings

The best way to get a feel for potential properties is to look around them. Viewings are also a great time to ask the landlord or agent some questions and possibly negotiate the rent. Here are some questions we recommend you ask when viewing a potential rental property:

  • How much is the rent per calendar month?

  • What is included in the rent? (bills, council tax etc.)

  • How much is the security deposit?

  • What other fees are there?

  • The duration of the contract?

  • What notice period would I be required to give if I wished to move out?

  • Who would I contact in case of an emergency?

  • What insurance does the landlord cover and what insurance do I cover myself?

Tenant responsibilities

Once you’ve moved in to a property, it is very important to be aware of the things that will make you a good and reliable tenant:

  • Most importantly, paying your rent in full and on time. It might be wise to set-up a standing order to ensure payments aren't missed or forgotten

  • Look after the property by keeping it clean and looking after furniture and appliances

  • Any issues contact the landlord or agent efficiently

  • Stay on top of minor issues so they do not escalate

  • Respect your neighbours as any anti-social behaviour can lead to eviction

Landlord responsibilities

To get the best out of your tenancy agreement it is important to have an understanding of what the landlord should be doing for you and what their responsibilities are, these include but are not limited to:

  • Maintenance of the structure and exterior of the property

  • They should have building insurance in place 

  • Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms fitted and working

  • Maintain the appliances and furniture supplied

  • Carry out essential repairs

  • They must give 24 hour notice for visits

  • Provide full deposit repayment in accordance with inital agreements

Moving out

Once you have completed a happy tenancy and it is time to move out (whether to rent somewhere else or to purchase your own property), ensure you have paid all rent and that the place is left clean as these are the main reasons for security deposits being withheld.

If you clean to a standard acceptable for new tenants to move in you should be fine! The landlords should take into account the natural wear and tear of occupying a property, but do check the property against the inventory that was completed when you moved in, to ensure there aren’t any damages that you could be charged for.

Happy renting!