You’ve probably ended up on this article because you were considering renting or buying a house and have ended up leaning towards renting. If this is the case, here are some key considerations and steps to take before renting a house or flat.
Questions to ask when renting
Consider your options carefully – When searching for a property, there are a number of key questions you need to ask yourself. This includes:
- How far are you prepared to commute for work?
- Do you prefer an urban setting closer to nightlife and restaurants or a quiet suburban street?
- Is the property near local schools. Shops and other amenities?
- Does the property cater to pets if you have them?
- Is the property close to public transport links?
- Do you prefer a property with a low-maintenance outdoor area or a yard?
- Will you need somewhere to park your car?
- Do you want to rent a property with your partner or friend, on your own, or are you looking for a room in a shared house?
- How many bathrooms and bedrooms do you need?
- What type of property suits you?
- How much can you afford to pay in rent?
Ask the above on each property you view, and the one with the most ticks is likely the best one for you.
One of the biggest mistakes that people make is diving right in and signing a rental contract with little thought for how the process works.
The first thing you need to do is make sure that you completely understand the lease market and how it operates. There are laws in place regarding the landlord’s responsibilities are and what is the tenant’s responsibility. Matters concerning repairs are often a sticking point for tenants.
What are the landlord responsibilities when renting?
Landlords are not expected to improve the property or change the decor. Landlord’s responsibilities only include those that ensure the tenant’s standard living needs are catered to. This can range from sanitation to heating.
If the boiler breaks in the middle of winter, the landlord would need to take action within 24 hours, as this is deemed an urgent matter. However, if the boiler was to break in the middle of summer, your landlord wouldn’t have to act as quickly. Nevertheless, the responsibility would still fall on his or her shoulders.
Read every term of the contract carefully
You also need to make sure you read every term and condition of your contract carefully. If you don’t understand something, don’t be afraid to ask about it further. The last thing you want to do is end up signing up for something that has very restrictive terms and hidden fines and charges.
Zoopla has put together a great guide on what to be wary of when checking through your rental contract here.
Search around for the best deal
Another tip is to take your time to search for the right property deal. Of course, there are instances whereby you do not have time on your side because you need to find a property by a certain date. However, if this does not apply to you and you can find a property at any date, use this to your advantage. There are lots of affordable houses for rent, it is simply a case of finding them.
The average rent amount is expected to increase by 17% by 2025. This is based on a 3-5% increase each year from 2021.Source: Statista.
Moreover, you may find that some properties are advertised cheaper on other platforms. If a landlord has chosen to advertise via numerous platforms and letting agencies, they may have had to put the prices up at certain letting agents in order to cover the fees they charge.
Whether you rent or buy, you should lastly consider the average cost of running a house per month.
James Banerjee is a Senior Account Manager who graduated from the University of Kent in 2014. He works in SEO on clients such as HSBC UK and Nestle and he has a keen interest in personal finances and money-saving advice.