Renting a property isn’t a scary process and is often the right choice for many. For those who are new to the process we’ve put together a quick guide on what to expect when you start to rent!
Preparing your finances
Decide how much you can reasonably afford to pay in rent each month. Consider your general costs of living and the fact that you will be paying Council Tax as well as energy bills, and the TV licence and broadband. Don’t forget, you’ll need your first months rent and a deposit before you even move into the property along with any fees charged for your application.
Finding a suitable property to rent
Make a list of what you want in a property. Remember that the rental market is usually fast-moving and that good properties in popular areas don’t stay on the market for very long. If you see something that may suit your needs, get your skates on and quickly go and see it!
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. For example, check who is responsible for maintaining the garden, and whether there are any restrictions concerning pets at the property. If you clear any questions at the beginning you won’t waste money applying to rent an unsuitable property.
The tenancy agreement
Assuming you pass the checks and referencing process, the agent will draft an Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement for signing by you and the landlord. Read the agreement very carefully before signing and if you are unsure of anything don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. The tenancy agreement is a legal document and binds you and the landlord to the terms within it. Make sure you understand!
You will need to pay a deposit that will be protected by the agent or landlord for the duration of the tenancy. All deposits in assured shorthold tenancies must be registered with one of the government-approved tenancy deposit schemes. This guarantees no-one can run off with the money. The deposit scheme will also provide a dispute resolution service if, at the end of the tenancy, you cannot agree the amount charged by the landlord or their agent.
Even if the property is being let unfurnished, it is really important to have a detailed inventory. It will list conditions of the property such as areas of damaged decoration, marks on carpets or chips to any surfaces but also confirm the light bulbs are working and smoke detectors have been tested!
Paying the rent
You will probably be paying the monthly rent by standing order to the landlord or their agent. Always ensure that rent is paid on time and in full. If a problem ever arises with paying your rent contact your landlord or agent so you can work it out!
At the end of the tenancy
When the tenancy period is coming to an end, you can ask if the landlord will agree to renew the tenancy (the amount of the rent may change and there may be some administration charges to pay) or you can leave the property. Arrange to move out by the agreed time on the agreed day. Make sure the property is clean and tidy and in at least the same condition as when you moved in. Take a note of the meter readings for the utilities and apply for a final bill. Don’t forget to cancel your standing order for rent or redirect your mail!
Repaying your deposit
Shortly after you move out, you will receive an account from the landlord or their agent detailing the charges for damage, if any. Providing you agree the amounts, the balance of your deposit should be returned without delay. If you don’t agree, this is what the dispute resolution service is there for.
Renting a property can seem a daunting task but it doesn’t have to be! If you’re a tenant looking to start renting, contact us on 0113 244 0251/0121 516 2222 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or check out our latest properties here.
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