If you are looking to rent for the first time, it is likely to be an exciting period in your life, but you should also look to make the process as simple as possible. Here are ten top tips for first time renters that should help you settle in quickly and easily.
One mistake that many first time renters make is not knowing what they can afford to pay each month. It is one thing being able to pay the rent on a monthly basis but there are many other costs associated with being a tenant. You need to make sure you can afford heating bills, council tax, TV licence, internet connection and any other bills associated with the home. This is before you even think about food, transport costs or socialising, so when you are renting for the first time, work out your budget and know how much you can afford to spend.
As a tenant you have rights and it is important that you are aware of these. This means you should look at your local council website or ask an estate agent what rights you hold. You’ll find that tenants have an increasing number of rights regarding their stay in a property and have a higher degree of protection from landlords kicking them out without good reason.
You should also be aware of the rights of your landlord. While a landlord has a right to view the property, they are required to provide you with sufficient notice of their intention to visit the property. Your landlord will also be expected to provide suitable safety provisions, so make sure you know what your landlord should provide you with.
Many first time renters end up sharing the flat with other people. It is important to know what you are personally responsible for and what comes under a collective responsibility. Any tenant that holds the energy account in their name will be the person that the company pursues for non-payment, even if the bill is shared at the property.
When you are looking for a home to rent, don’t look at property with the attitude of “it is just a home to rent”. You should be looking for a home that you want to live in and where you can see yourself staying for a period of time.
One of the most important documents for any tenant is the inventory list. This is a list of all of the items in the house at the time of entry and of their condition. Requesting that this list is compiled by an independent adjudicator and then agreed upon by all parties can help minimise problems later on.
If you are bothered by neighbours or issues in the local area, make sure you know who to report them to and what you can do about it. Engaging with neighbours in an inappropriate manner can escalate issues and it may see you being asked to leave the property.
Space is a valuable commodity in all properties, including rented properties. You should be looking to create as much space for yourself as you can which means that space saving devices can be brilliant additions to your property.
In some areas, the cost of moving home or renting a flat is more expensive at certain times of year. There is also the fact that hiring a removals van or team to help you move is likely to be more expensive at the weekend or at Bank Holidays, so you should be looking to move at a time that is cost effective and suitable.
One of the most important things for any tenant to bear in mind is that they should treat the property and the landlord with respect. This will greatly impact on their ability to negotiate and without question, their ability to rent further properties in the future.