With many opting to rent over purchasing a home, especially with increasing house prices and many requiring weighty deposits, a lot of people may be wondering how to make the rental property management process easier for themselves. Below we’re going to discuss some of the top tips we have found to help for new renters with what to look out for.
Set Yourself A Budget
Take a look at your monthly income, and then try to estimate the outgoings if you were to rent. A great way to do this is by creating a spreadsheet of all the costs, so you can clearly sum up the income vs the outcome. Make sure to take into account the general costs of living as well as things such as food shops, council tax, contents insurance, broadband & TV Licenses to name a few. You’ll also need around 6 weeks' rent saved for a deposit before you rent.
Make Sure You Save For A Deposit
As mentioned above, you’ll need some extra money saved for a deposit when it comes to renting. This is taken and then held by your landlord for the length of the tenancy, and provides them with compensation if you damage the property. While general wear and tear is excluded from these dilapidations, if you do damage the property during your tenancy, you may lose this deposit. However, so long as you look after the property, you should get this deposit back at the end of your tenancy.
Take Note Of The Inventory
When it comes to renting the property, a detailed list of the property’s inventory will be taken. This will also include any faults already in the house, such as marks on carpets or marks on walls. This ensures that when you come to leave, they can’t be blamed on you and potentially lose your deposit. Good inventories will also include photos of said faults. Make sure to read through this before signing it, and take a look around the home in-depth to see if there is anything missed off. Make sure to let the landlord know as soon as possible if something out of your control breaks, such as a blocked toilet or sink. They can then send a tradesman out to fix the issue for you.
Be Quick To Book Viewings
While it isn’t usually wise to rush into things, the rental market is quite a quick-moving industry. If you find a property you like online, make sure to book a viewing promptly so you can go and see it in person and then possibly start a tenancy. It’s also useful to keep in mind that while you may then not get the property you initially wanted, because of the high demand, there is usually more to come available.
One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Treasure
If you manage to get a property and it isn’t furnished, you could make use of popular sites such as Freecycle to find cheap or even free household items such as sofas. This could also help you if you’re downsizing, or looking for other items - as you can place items on the site as well. Not only does this help make things a bit cheaper, but it also helps the environment, as people make use of items for longer rather than throwing them to landfills.
Protect The Contents
Ensure that as soon as you have a rental property, you get insurance for your valuables. While the landlord, whether a private landlord or not, should usually cover building insurance (check before renting), you need to get content cover. This essentially covers the items within your property (think what would fall if you were to turn the house upside down) should anything happen to it.
Make Sure You Know Where Your Stopcock Is
Once you have a rental property, make sure to find the mains water tap, AKA stopcock, in case you ever need to shut the water off in an emergency. While you most likely will never make use of it, it will come in handy if a pipe were to suddenly burst.
Things To Note At The End Of The Tenancy
Toward the end of the tenancy, you may decide to renew the agreement with your landlord (bear in mind prices may change and there may be some administration fees) or you may decide to leave the property to a new one. Agree on a moving day and time to be out with your landlord and ensure that you stick to it. To help the probability of you getting your deposit back, make sure to give the home a thorough cleaning so it matches how it looked when you first moved into the property. When it comes to moving day, the landlord should be there with the inventory list to check everything is still as it was and then you will both sign off on it. Make sure to take a note of the final meter readings for your gas and electricity bill so you can apply for final billing and visit a post office to redirect the post to your new address.