Renting your first property can be challenging at any time, but while we’re in a market where demand far outweighs capacity, you need to get clued up before you hit the streets looking for your first home to make sure you get the property you want first time.
You might be feeling pressure to buy, however letting is often cheaper than buying, and bills are easily anticipated as well which is great news for inexperienced renters who will be budgeting home expenses or the first time. Renting offers more adaptability than owning – you can move somewhere else reasonably quickly which is useful if you’re not sure how long you want to stay put for.
However, there’s a great deal to consider when renting a property. This guide aims to take the worry out of renting a property, particularly for first timers.
First things first, how would I pick a letting agent?
There are many private landlords out there, however if you decide to settle for a letting agent, make certain they are ARLA registered; this implies they belong to the letting association and hence must abide by the code of practice, rules and regulations. There are many websites to help you find the right agent and property such as Rightmove, Zoopla and Gumtree.
When you find a letting agent that you’re content with, ensure to register with them in advance. Three months before you want to move is a good target.
Where do I want to live?
The location is just as critical as the home itself, and to pick where precisely to rent a home you need first and foremost to determine what your needs are. Would you like to reside near your workplace? Do you need a nearby bus stop or train station? Is it necessary to be close to loved ones? These are all serious considerations when you’re deciding where you want to live.
Who should attend the viewings?
It goes without saying that everyone who is going to move into the property ought to be present at the viewings with the goal that they can offer their suppositions and get a feel for the place to guarantee that they would be happy living there.
Furthermore, it’s good to get an outsider (family member or companion who knows you well) to come along for the survey, as it’s good to get a different perspective and they may well see something that you’ve missed.
When should I view the property?
Evenings and weekends have a tendency to get reserved rapidly and so if you’re running short of time, it’s a good idea to take a day off work so that you can go see several properties in one day.. It’s also well worth visiting the property you like at different times of day. What may seem like a quiet neighbourhood at 10 AM on a Monday, could be an antisocial disaster at 9 PM on a Friday. It would be better to find this out before you sign the lease.
How many properties should I view?
Getting the right balance on viewings is imperative. You are unlikely to benefit from trying to see as many properties as possible. Instead aim to view three or four properties that fit your criteria and you should find that will have seen enough to know what you’re looking for.
Any last minute tips?
You’ll need to have references so that the landlord can verify that you’ll be a trustworthy tenant. Make sure you caution your referrals that they might get a call in advance.
If you’re a student or newly employed it is likely that you will be asked to provide a guarantor. Again, it’s necessary to get this all sorted before you even start seeing properties – this hastens the entire system and will enable prospective landlords/letting agents to take you more seriously – something that is very important in a high rental demand market like this one.
Each adult wanting to rent a property in the UK needs to have the capacity to demonstrate that they have the privilege to rent; if you are a UK native or are from the European Union*, then all you have to give is a legitimate identification to demonstrate your entitlement to rent.
*Subject to change as Brexit develops.
It’s a tough market out there but with the right preparation you’ll find your new home in no time. Good luck!
Article contributed by Martin Buttery, an Electrician Leeds for MPB Electrical.
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