So you’ve saved up a bit of cash for the deposit and are finally ready to move into your first rented place – congrats!
But before you start this new chapter of your life, it’s worth considering a few things. Don’t dive in head first without getting clued up!
There can be hidden costs
Putting down the deposit and paying the rent every month aren’t the only costs involved with renting.
Make sure you have enough cash saved up to cover any administration fees, if you’re renting through a letting agent, and any costs involved with credit and reference checks. Always check any fees involved before signing any contracts or paying anything.
You should also be aware that you will have to pay your first month’s rent upfront along with the deposit!
Be aware of any bills you’ll have to pay
Before you put down any money, you should add up how much you will be spending on bills every month and make sure you can afford it. Some bills could be covered in the rent, but most of the time you’ll be responsible for sorting it all out yourself.
You should check what council tax band the property is in and the energy performance certificate to find out the typical energy costs.
Bills to pay every month can include water, gas, electricity, council tax, a TV license, a landline phone bill, and wifi.
Check the property thoroughly
The landlord or letting agent will carry out an inspection before you move in and produce an inventory. The property will have to look more or less the same as when you moved in (they usually allow for general wear and tear), and you will be charged for any damage – so it’s important to identify any issues before you sign the contract.
Check for any marks on the wall, mould, faulty wiring, damaged locks, stained carpets etc and make sure that the inventory recognises them, otherwise you could be charged for something you didn’t do!
You should also ask the usual questions when viewing a property – we’ve put together a list of the big questions to ask here.
Read the whole contract
It can be very tempting to skim read your contract if it’s quite bulky – but make sure you read it thoroughly!
If there is anything you don’t understand or that seems odd, you should seek legal advice before you sign it.
Check local prices
You can use your common sense for this one – have a look around and note the prices of other rental properties in the area and make sure the property you’re renting falls in line with it.
If you’re renting a small 2 bed property for £750 a month, and most others in the area are being rented for much less than that, then you can speak to the letting agent or landlord about potentially lowering the price.
Prepare for moving day!
You need to start packing well in advance – it will take much longer than you think it will! Make sure you have enough time on and around moving day to unpack and get yourself settled.
For more tips on making your moving day less stressful, we have a packing guide here.