Renting a home for the first time can be exciting yet daunting.
Before you make the move, there are a lot of things you’re going to need to familiarise yourself with. As well as the costs involved, it helps to have an understanding of the process, the legalities of renting and the potential things that can go wrong.
While there is a lot to learn, here you’ll discover the top factors to consider to get you started.
Understanding the costs involved
The first thing you need to fully understand before you agree to rent a property is the full renting costs. There’s obviously the rent and household bills, but don’t forget about council tax, insurance and money for emergencies.
Other costs you might not be familiar with are the fees charged by estate agents throughout the rental process. Before you are even accepted, you’ll be expected to pay application fees. These go towards the cost of a credit check and paperwork which needs to be filed.
It’s worth chatting to the agent if you have a low credit score as even if you pay the fee, you could still be turned down and you will not receive the money back.
One way to save on estate agent fees is to consider using an online estate agent such as Hatched. Online agents are becoming increasingly popular and they often offer much lower fees than traditional agencies.
Many people underestimate the full costs of renting and this can lead to serious issues further down the line. When working out how much rent you can afford each month, don’t forget to factor in all of the other bills and costs involved.
Understanding your responsibilities
Just like landlords, tenants have obligations too. Ensuring you pay your rent on time, don’t leave the property empty and making sure you take good care of the property are just some of the responsibilities you’ll have.
Each tenancy is different so it’s important to read through the tenancy agreement thoroughly before you sign to ensure you’re happy with your outlined responsibilities.
Things to consider
Once you’ve familiarised yourself with the costs and legalities of renting, it’s time to actually find somewhere. When looking for a rental property you should:
- Always view the property before agreeing to rent
- Ensure there will be no hidden costs
- Ensure your deposit will be protected
- Consider the area
It’s important to do as much research as you can on a potential property to ensure you’re making the right decision. Never agree to rent before actually seeing the property in person as it could end up looking a lot different to the pictures.
Overall, never rush into renting your first home no matter how excited you may be. Taking the time to familiarise yourself with the costs and legalities will save you a lot of stress and potentially money, in the long term.