Choosing the right rental property – A guide for tenants
Whether you are moving into your first rental property, relocating or making a move from one tenancy to another, making sure that you find the perfect property is vitally important – after all it’s a place that you will call home for some time to come.
Making a mistake when choosing the right property to let can be costly, after all you will be tied into an agreement for a specific time period, and the cost of moving can be high when you factor in all the associated costs such as removals and deposits.
With this in mind, we bring you our guide to choosing the right rental property.
Budgeting for your rental property
Before starting to look around for your rental property, it’s wise to work out your maximum budget. Research typical rents in your desired areas by both looking online and speaking to local agents – this should give you a good insight into what type of properties available.
Put together your list of ‘must-have’s’ such as parking, access to transport, outside or location within a school catchment area – this will allow you to focus on looking at the right properties for you. While some compromise may always be necessary – getting to the heart of what you really do require gives focus to your search.
When putting together a budget, bear in mind that different properties may incur different ongoing costs – for example, an older property may cost more in utility bills or certain areas may require the purchase of a parking permit. Council tax amounts can vary widely across small areas, so always ask the Council tax band and factor this into your budget.
Check the property
When viewing potential rental properties, take a good look at both the exterior and interior. A good landlord should keep their property well maintained, so externally, check that windows, doors and paintwork are in a reasonable condition.
Internally, make sure to look beyond the superficial and check that it really suits your needs. For example, if you are going to bring your own furniture – will it fit in the space? If there is outside space, does it suit your lifestyle?
It is also prudent to check things like water pressure, heating type and what type of parking is available, to avoid being caught out at a later time.
A main concern for many tenants is that they have a good landlord who is responsive and understand and meets with their obligations. Your landlord has several obligations including ensuring that a Gas Safe Certificate is provided and up to date, ensuring that you deposit is protected in one of the official tenancy deposit schemes, and providing you with an Energy Performance Certificate, so make sure to ask about these items before committing to a tenancy – they are legal obligations.
Using a lettings agency to find your rental property is a good idea, as they will liaise with the landlord on your behalf, allowing you to ask questions and potentially negotiate on terms or price.
Many landlords also use their lettings agency to manage the property – meaning that the agency will be your point of contact throughout your tenancy.
If you are currently looking to rent a property, get in touch with us to find out more about our available lettings.