The current state of the market in the United Kingdom has made renting an integral part in the lifestyle of the citizens. Whether you are looking to live in a house for the time until you save enough money to buy a house, or you are selling your house first and need a house to live in till you buy a new one, you need to rent a house. Finding a house that meets your specifications may be a difficult task, but there some considerations that you should keep in mind which would make this decision much easier for you. Here are the eight most important things that you should know about before renting property in the UK.
1. Ensure that You Are Financially Prepared
Being a tenant in the UK, you have to adhere to the rules of tenancy, which basically means that you have to respect all the clauses in the tenancy agreement and not break any of them. You have to pay rent on time, and pay the fees when the homeowner decides to lease the house to you. Moreover, you will also have to pay a month’s rent in advance, and a security deposit. For this, you need to be prepared financially.
2. How to Find a Place
Make a List
Make a list of all the things that you need in a house that you wish to rent, and what things you would consider as deal-breakers for renting a property. This task may take you a long while but make sure you do it thoroughly. After the list is complete, pick out the things from the things-I-want list that you can live without and the things from things-I-don’t-want that you could compromise on. This will give you a very realistic approach as to what to expect from a home.
Every house is different, and it is very rare that people find exactly what they want in a house for rent. When you are viewing houses for rent, there will always be things that will be missing from your list of things you want, and there will always be homes where everything you need in a house is present, but it also has the flaws that you do not want. You would have to find a middle ground and make the best choice for yourself, and you can’t do this without having to compromise on some of your choices.
Searching for a house for rent online is a great way if you want to save money and time. You can use Zoopla and/ or Rightmove to browse through the houses that are up for sale or rent. Here are some great tips that would come handy if you are renting online.
Get an Online Agent
Searching houses for yourself would take up a huge chunk of your time on a daily basis when you have to sift through the many houses and check their details to see if they are the houses that you would consider buying.
An online agent helps you out by searching houses for you, and provides you a shortlist of houses that you can go and view. This saves you the time and energy, which you can invest in other matters.
3. Things to Look for in a Viewing
Once you have shortlisted the houses that you like and now wish to check out, there are some things that you should look out for when viewing a house. Here are the most important things that you should not miss:
Guttering For Moss and Mould
If there is a proper system of guttering that prevents moss and mould from ruining the walls of your house, then it is a house to invest money in, as it shows that the homeowners take care of the tiny details.
Damaged Carpets Or Floorboards
See if there are any damages on the carpets or floorboards. If there are, you may need to pay for repairs when you are setting up the house.
Are There Any Fire Exit Routes In The Alleyways And Garden?
This is a safety precaution and you should know about the exits before you move into the house.
Check the Locks and Faucets
Locks and faucets are among the small, yet important details that are important to check when viewing a house. Many people overlook this, and later find out that either the locks or the faucets do not work properly, and they would have to then pay to change them.
In order to prevent this cost, you should check the faucets and locks when you visit a house.
Do The Windows And Doors Open And Close Smoothly?
You should check if the doors and windows creak when you open them or not, and if they get stuck when you close them or not. Faulty doors and windows will prove a greater problem for you if you let it fester, and therefore, it is better if you check it early, and if you see a problem, discuss with the homeowner and ask them if they will be repairing it or not.
Check for Leaking Ducts or Pipes
In HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems, leaking ducts reduce the efficiency of the unit, and you are left with paying huge energy bills. Leaking pipes also create a problem, but they are easy to detect. When you are viewing a house that you would want to rent, then make sure that there are no leaks in the ducts and pipes.
4. The Costs and Responsibilities of Living as a Tenant
There are two kinds of costs when it comes to renting a property in the UK:
- Costs before moving in
- Costs after moving in
Let us discuss each of these costs first.
Costs Before Moving In
These are the costs that would be applicable for a tenant before they move in their rented home.
- A fee for every person included in the tenancy (not applicable in Scotland).
- A guarantor fee if you are a student renting a house for the first time (not applicable in Scotland).
- A month’s rent in advance.
- Set up fee for the agent.
- Your deposit (which is around the same amount as the rent of a month).
Costs After Moving In
These are the costs that the tenant has to take care of, once they have moved in the rented house.
- Broadband and line rental, and the phone bills.
- Council tax payments (if they are not included in the rent).
- The monthly rent
- Utility bills, which includes water, gas and electricity (if they are not included in the rent).
The basic responsibility of a tenant is to take care of the house and make sure that it stays the same way as it had been when they first moved in. This means that if there are any damages to the house, you will be liable. In addition to this, any renovations should be first discussed with the homeowner.
Another important aspect is to be nice to the neighbours. If you are rude and insufferable, you may get evicted out.
5. Find the Best Time to Rent
With buying and selling houses, there are certain times of the year which are just better to make this decision in. It is the same with renting a house.
Believe it or not, December is the best month to rent a new home.
This is because in December, people refrain from buying houses, and the landlords worry about the houses being vacant near the Christmas season, and the rents drop. Knowing the best time to rent can significantly boost your chances of finding the house that is the best fit for you and/ or your family.
6. The Application Process
These are the things that you should keep in mind before signing the deal.
- Check the inventory: Plan and agree to this with your landlord beforehand. This will make things easier for you when you move out from the rented house.
- Read the contract thoroughly: If you find any discrepancies, attend to them immediately.
- Read the meter: Just when you move into your new home, you should take meter readings and update the supplier, so that you only have to pay for what you have used, and not for the usage that was done before you moved in.
Ensure that You are Provided With the Relevant Documents
Your landlord (or agent) is bound by law to provide you the documents given below. Make sure that you have all of these, and make a copy of each of them.
- Electrical Inspections Records: These records would be important to show you that all the electrical appliances in the house are checked and are completely safe for use.
- Energy Performance Certificate (EPC): This certificate gives you an approximation of the energy usage of the home and you can expect how much you will have to pay each month for it.
- Gas Safety Certificate: This should be provided each year.
- Paperwork for Deposit: This is the most important document as it includes the information about how you will be receiving money at the end of the tenancy (applicable if you have submitted a deposit).
7. Extending and Terminating the Tenancy
If you wish to stay longer than the period of time that was agreed upon in the tenancy agreement, then you will have to extend your contract. You have these options to do so:
Enter Into a New Agreement
You can get into a new agreement all over again. This might be more costly as the rents would have increased by that time, and you will have to pay more.
Enter into a Periodic Agreement
If your fixed term of tenancy ends, and you do nothing, then you get into a periodic or “rolling” agreement automatically, in which you pay the same amount that you have paid for the fixed term every month or week, depending upon the payment procedure.
Change the Agreement
You can get into a new fixed-term agreement with a few changes after negotiating with the landlord. If you have been an impeccable tenant, your landlord would rather keep you with the changes in agreement than risk another tenant who may or may not be so agreeable.
If you need to move out into a new house for rent, or have bought a house of your own, you would need to terminate the tenancy. Keep these things in mind when you are ending the tenancy:
- When the property is being inspected to see if there any damages that should be covered by the deposit, be there. Also bring the inventory checklist with you so that there can be no discrepancies.
- Pay your rent and make sure that there is no outstanding debt to the landlord.
- Make sure all your bills are paid, or you will have a bad credit score.
- Clean the house and remove all personal items that you have used for renovations and such.
8. Prepare for Moving Out
Moving out of your rented home may seem like an easy process: bring in friends, pack up boxes, and chill in the empty house with some beer while you are waiting for movers to take away the stuff. However, it is not always the case.
Packing takes a lot of time, so you should start doing so at least a week ahead. Label the boxes, and write the room name on it so that you know what is inside each of the box, and which room it has to go into. If your new home is far away from your rented home, then it is better to hire professional movers.
If you are looking to rent a house in the UK at competitive prices, contact the experts at iMoveEstates today!