As a first-time renter it can be easy to feel overwhelmed with the thought of the whole process. From your initial search to moving in, you want to be sure everything’s going to run smoothly – and who wouldn’t?
There’s no need to worry though. In this blog, we’ve put together five of our tips to make sure you’ll rent with confidence.
Search big and small
Searching for a property online has become easier than ever, and whilst the big property search engines are utilised by most estate agents, it’s still worth checking their individual websites – or visiting local agents in person. This will help make sure you’re exposed to as many properties as possible so you can make the best decision for your first rental.
Be thorough before handing over any money
You shouldn’t ever feel pressured to part with your money, especially if you’re in the early stages of finding a rental property. Although this may seem obvious, if you haven’t seen the property yet, don’t hand any money over.
Do some research on the agent letting the property and arrange to meet them in person. Check with the Land Registry to confirm that the property is theirs too. Renting can be costly, so there’s no harm in being cautious.
Consider the fees
You’re likely to incur fees when using an estate agent, but it means that you’ll have more protection (given they are members of industry recognised schemes), in addition to knowing that contracts and other paperwork will be dealt with professionally. Although the sound of fees can be off-putting, as a first-time renter you’ll likely find the process easier as an estate agent will do the more daunting work for you.
Unpack the contract
You’ll need to sign a tenancy agreement before renting a property – often in the form of a contract. Don’t rush to sign it as soon as you get it. Whilst a contract produced by a trusted estate agent is far more likely to be transparent, you should be thorough with it nonetheless.
Find out exactly what’s covered in your rent, and any additional costs outside of it. If any amendments need to be changed, make sure you sign the final revised version. We also recommend getting someone else to read over it too, in case you missed anything.
Document any defects
Once you’ve got the keys, take photos throughout the property as proof of its condition before you move in property.
If you notice any defects or issues, report these to the landlord as soon as possible to avoid being made responsible. Avoid reporting these over the phone as you won’t have a record of the communications (should you need evidence). These images and early reports are valuable in protecting your deposit at the end of the tenancy, and ensuring you’re not blamed for anything you didn’t do.
We hope this blog will help you rent with confidence, if you do need advice you can get in touch with our team here.