While we offer a lot of information to landlords in our work as a lettings agency in London here at Hills Estate, we also want to ensure tenants have all of the information that need to make their relationships with landlords and property managers as fruitful and easy as possible. After all, if everybody involved in the arrangement is kept happy the tenancy can then go on for a long time.
So if you are considering renting a new home, try to keep all of the below in mind.
Check The Property When Viewing
It may seem like a simple tip, but many people fail to give the properties they view the proper once over. This can lead to issues being missed that have not been highlighted yet, delaying repair work and even leading to landlords believing you are responsible for the problem. Examine all taps and electrical sockets and make it a point to speak about any issues you discover during the viewing and what is going to be done to remedy them before you sign anything.
Always Check The Small Print
You will be asked to sign a tenancy agreement before moving into the property. This is a contract and you will be held accountable if you renege on any of the conditions that it contains. This makes it all the more important that you read everything, especially the small print, so you can spot anything that may cause issues. Don’t be afraid to raise objections and to question parts of the agreement that make you feel uncomfortable. It is within your rights to do so and you may find that you can get the agreement changed based on your needs.
Make A Budget
Before you start looking and potential homes, it is crucial that you understand how much you are able to spend each month. Make a budget that takes everything into account, starting with things like council tax, food, electricity, gas and water while also moving into things like the cost of transport, your phone contract and anything else that is an outgoing. Once you have a comprehensive list, you will be able to see what you can actually afford monthly as a rent payment. Also, do not forget that you need to budget for the deposit, which is usually a touch higher than the monthly rent, in addition to a month’s rent, both of which will usually be asked for in advance.
Don’t Pay A Holding Deposit
Some lettings agencies involve themselves in the dubious practice of asking potential tenants for holding deposits. This are different to the security deposit that you will pay when you have made your decision to move in and they should be considered as fees you shouldn’t have to pay. If asked for one be wary and understand that you won’t receive the money back. Point out that agents should only charge for the services they provide, such as finding references and running credit checks. A holding deposit is not necessary. You should also avoid paying a fee to register with an agency or obtain a list of properties, as this is actually illegal in the UK.