Monday June 12, 2017
With house prices rising, is there is any wonder that the rental market is on the increase? People simply cannot afford to buy. But renting a property can be a daunting process if you don’t know what you are doing, and many people get caught out. Don’t let that be you, by reading this handy guide on what to look out for when considering renting a property.
Make sure you have enough money. Before the landlord or agency let you move in, they will more than likely want to run some checks on you to make sure that you will be a good tenant. They may ask you to pay some or all the cost of these fees. If you have been given the OK to move in, then be prepared to pay a security deposit and probably one month’s rent in advance. There may be other tenancy fees that you will be liable for, so it is always best to keep a copy of the contract somewhere safe, so you can refer to it if needed.
Get your documents ready. Remember the checks that we have just been talking about? Well, your landlord will need up-to-date references from you, so they can be completed. You may also be asked for documents to prove your identity and credit history. This is to make sure that you will not miss any rent payments or do a midnight flit!
How long are you looking to rent for? A lot of rental properties usually have a tenancy agreement of a minimum of 6 months, but can sometimes be extended (some fees may apply). This is usually documented in your tenancy agreement, but if you are unsure then you need to ask your landlord or agent. After all, you don’t want to suddenly find yourself homeless.
Be sure of what you are looking for. If you're looking for a 2-bedroom house with a garden, then there is no point in looking at a studio basement flat. If you find it easier; make a list and write down all the things that you want from your rental property, e.g. must have a garden, be on a bus route for work, parking is essential, etc. This way you will find it easier and quicker to scour through the vast list of rental properties.
Viewing is essential! It goes without saying that the only way you will know if you like the property, is to go and see it. A property that you may like the look of on paper, may not be the same in the flesh. This also gives you a chance to meet your potential future landlord/agent and ask them any questions that you may have. Don’t forget to take your ‘what you want’ list with you.
Be prepared to move quickly. Rental properties are like gold dust. Blink and it’s gone! A lot of landlords are looking to get tenants in as quickly as possible. So, the faster you are ready to move, the better. If you are already in a rental property, you will need to find out what your notice period is. Remember, that you will have to stay in the property until the notice period is up unless you have come to another arrangement with your landlord/agent.
Check your tenancy agreement. Make sure that you fully understand what your tenancy agreement says, but if you have any questions then make sure that you ask them, before you sign on the dotted line. A lot of landlords these days will ask you to agree to an inventory report. This document contains details of all the items in the property and the condition that they are in. Usually, an inventory report is done before a new tenant moves in and again when they move out. If you have a camera then take some pictures of what the property was like when you first moved in, just in case there is any dispute about missing or damaged items.
Make sure your landlord provides you with documents regarding the property. By law all agents or landlords must provide you with the following:
- A gas safety certificate – this must be provided if there are gas appliances in the property and must be done once a year.
- The Energy Performance Certificate – This is an important document as it will affect your energy bills.
- Deposit paperwork – If you have paid a deposit then the landlord must protect it in an authorised tenancy deposit scheme. This safeguards your money and means that you should get it back when you move out, depending on the state of the property.
- Details of electrical inspections – All electrical equipment in the property must be inspected every 5 years, and deemed safe to use.
Be a good tenant. Look after the property that you are renting and treat it like it’s your own home. If you have any issues, then contact your landlord or agent straight away. Be considerate to your neighbours for example, if you live in a flat be considerate of how loud your telly or music is.
When you want to move out – do it the right way. You will need to give your landlord notice to quit and then you must serve that notice (unless your landlord has agreed that you can move out earlier). It is a good idea to be present (if possible) when the inventory check is done, just in case the landlord feels that there are to be any deductions made. Do not leave any unpaid bills, take all your items and make sure that you leave the property clean before you go - that is just common courtesy!
If you are a tenant or a landlord and would like us to professionally clean the property to inventory check standard, then please give us a call on 0345 226 1293. Or please look at our website: