With the largest selection of quality homes throughout the city to rent and with same day viewings available, call our rental negotiators for more information. One administration fee with no further hidden costs.
Renting a home can be a thankless task. Almost everyone ends up doing so at some point in their lives, yet when it comes to help and advice tenants can often feel like a forgotten tribe.
In a bid to level the playing field slightly, new Government laws regarding multiple occupancy homes and protecting tenants’ deposits have been put in place, but picking your way through the pitfalls of the lettings market is still a tricky task.
Renting is often thought of as something done by people before climbing the property ladder, but many homeowners opt to rent for periods of time while waiting to buy.
Choose the right property and agent, and renting can be a joy – the money might be paying someone else’s mortgage but freedom and the ability to pass on responsibility is yours. On the other hand, take the wrong route and a tenancy can be six months or longer of daily stress and pain.
Here are this is Money’s top ten tips for renting a home:
Spend plenty of time investigating the area. The advantage of renting is that you can move when your tenancy is up, but don’t think too short-term – make sure this is the area you want to live in. If you have children make sure you look into the local schools and not just the nearest one – you may not be guaranteed a place. The best way to get a feel for an area is to visit and have a wander around on foot.
Don’t just walk into the High Street Estate Agents. Large firms can have a wide range of property but check out property management agencies.
A good place to search for independent agents online is listing websites. They cover the whole of the UK and have thousands of properties to rent. Davis and Sons use all the major property portals Rightmove, Zoopla, Prime location etc…
Looking around rental properties can be a bit of a whistle-stop tour but if you find somewhere you like don’t just give it a ten minute once over. Check everything carefully.
Does it have central heating, a washing machine, dishwasher, decent fridge and freezer? What are the showers like? Are the windows in good condition?
These can all be forgotten in the heat of the moment. Make a checklist to take with you when viewing properties you really like.
Before you make an offer, quiz the agent about fees for references and credit checks. Sadly ramping up fees is a sharp practice that started in the cut-throat lettings market in certain areas of London, spread outwards to encompass most of the capital and has now gained a foothold in other major cities in the UK.
For example, admin fee and a credit reference should only cost around £250 – some unscrupulous agents hit potential tenants with a bill for £350 for these. Avoiding firms that charge high fees is the only way to try and put a stop to this. If they cook up expenses at the start, it’s also likely they will try and cash in on your deposit when you move out.
If you are looking at renting with others, choose who you live with carefully. Money is the most common cause of dispute. Make sure you work out your budget and how bills will be paid.
Whether you are dealing with an agent or a landlord, it’s important to remember you hold the upper hand. They want to rent out the property and if it is empty when you
view they will be eager to get someone in as soon as possible. Make an offer below the rent being asked for, typically it is possible to get £20 per
month or £5 per week discount, or maybe more. It doesn’t sound like much but every pound saved is another one in your pocket.
Being a tenant who doesn’t pay on time is the best way to ensure your landlord or agent won’t go out of their way to help you. Getting all the finances sorted
properly and having the deposit, first month’s rent and subsequent rent arrive on time will mean that you are immediately onside with the people you need to call if the plumbing goes or you want a new oven.
Don’t be tempted to skip through the inventory and move in as soon as you can. If you don’t go through everything with a fine-toothed comb, then you are leaving yourself open to cash being taken from your deposit. It’s not just furniture and contents that need checking, note if carpets and curtains have been steam-cleaned and check the
soft furnishings’ condition. In the first few days of moving in, take a note of all the problems you spot and let the agent or landlord know,
Landlords are not psychic. You may know that the washing machine has stopped working and grumble about it, but unless someone tells them they don’t know work needs doing. Don’t be shy in reporting any difficulties, having fixed at no cost to you is one of the privileges of being a tenant. A good landlord will also appreciate knowing if something needs doing – after all, its their investment you live in.
By law they must prove the exact cost of every deduction. Do not be fobbed off and do not be fooled by bluster. New laws have been put in place over
deposits to try and clear up what can be a murky area.
At Davis and sons your Bond will be registered with the T.D.S. and are members OF ARLA and the NAEA.
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