Beginner's Guide to Renting

Published on Monday, 29 July 2013

Beginner's Guide to RentingWhen it comes to renting property, if you’ve never rented before then there are many pitfalls, problems and mistakes that are easy to fall victim to. Choosing to rent a property is a big decision, especially in this economic climate. Many people are choosing to rent over making the investment of buying a home simply because money is tight and the housing market isn’t looking its best. Whatever the reason you’re deciding to rent, there are many things to be aware of. Here are just a few things you need to think about when renting a home.1)    Do your research! You should have a vague idea of your budget and what exactly you’re looking for. Make sure that you’re getting value for money both in terms of rent and the size of the property. If you’re paying to have your bills included, make sure the amount you’re going to be paying is correct and hasn’t been exaggerated or inflated by your landlord!2)    Don’t be sucked in by cheap prices. It’s important to understand exactly what you’re paying for when it comes to renting property. Don’t compromise on what your require simply for a good deal!3)    The first time you meet your potential new landlord is a big deal. Whether or not you like the property, if there’s something about the landlord you aren’t quite sure about then it’s probably best to avoid that house. You’ll most likely have to have a lot of dealings with your landlord over the coming months, so you’re going to want to make sure you’re able to trust and get along well with them. If you aren’t sure then trust your instincts!4)    If, when you view the property, there are many adjustments, renovations or repairs the landlord is thinking of doing then make sure you get them in writing. Many landlords make a verbal agreement to have that old cooker replaced, or have the bathroom mould seen to, but unless it’s in writing you’re unlikely to get anywhere with it. Having things stipulated formally will make your life a lot easier – this is especially true when it comes to having your deposit returned to you!5)    You’re more likely to be accepted for a property if you can provide references. If this is your first time renting, see if you landlord will accept character references or work references instead of those from previous landlords. Not all people will ask for references, but if you’re in competition with others for a property then they can give you an edge!6)    Your deposit should be put into a Tenancy Deposit Scheme by law. This will protect your money should issues surrounding the return of your deposit occur. Don’t feel out of place if you want confirmation that your deposit is being safely housed – a good landlord won’t mind providing proof!7)    Make sure you fully understand your tenancy agreement. This sounds like an obvious one, but don’t be hasty when it comes to signing your name to anything. Make sure you read all the fine print!8)    Communication with your landlord is key. Make sure that, should your circumstances change, that amendments are immediately made to your tenancy agreement. Whether this is to do with housing benefits, council tax or even if you’re deciding to get a pet, making sure that the expectations are clearly outlined in your contract will save you further hassle down the line.