Whether it’s your first time renting or you’re just moving to a new property, here are a few things you should consider when making the leap and renting a home.
If you’ve rented before you may already be familiar with tenant insurance but for those of you that aren’t aware, here is a quick outline. The homeowner or landlord is responsible for the building itself and thus the building maintenance and insurance but you are responsible for the contents of the home. You will need tenant insurance to cover the cost of your belongings should you fall victim to crime or a natural disaster like flooding.
Bills, bills, bills
You will, of course, be responsible for paying all the bills on the property so you should consider this when picking whether you want to live there. Consider how energy efficient the building is – will you be paying more to heat the home due to a lack of insulation? What internet service providers are available in the area? Will the internet speed be sufficient for your needs?
There is often a bit of variation in who is expected to provide the electrical goods such as the fridge, the freezer, or the washing machine. Make sure you and the landlord are on the same page, check what kinds of goods will be installed when you move in and whether you will have to purchase any yourself. Also, consider that you will have to take these appliances with you should you move out.
Do plenty of research into other properties in the area, not just as alternative homes, but to act as a price guide. You need to make sure you are not being overcharged, but also make sure the rent isn’t suspiciously low! Remember to take the furnishings into account as this can massively affect how much the homeowner will charge.
Check if the contract has a release clause.
A break clause means there is a fixed term tenancy that can be ended after a certain time, often 6 months or a year. However, a release clause might involve the tenant paying a fee in order to release themselves from the contract at any point – this clause might also require you to find a replacement tenant to fulfil the contract period.
Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want.
If the decoration is out of date or the paint is peeling from the walls, don’t be afraid to ask the landlord to do a bit of redecorating before you make an agreement. In most cases, landlords are happy to do a bit of painting in preparation for new tenants – but make sure all the tasks are carried out before you sign the contract or make any payments.
Conduct a thorough inventory
Tenants are usually required to pay a deposit and should the landlord find any damages to the property the cost of repairs can be taken out of your deposit. Take a full inventory of the property and give a copy of this to the landlord to ensure you don’t get charged for any damage already done.