Renting a new home can be filled with pitfalls if you're not careful. The following guide by reliable cheap self storage company, A Storage Solution, offers key tips to help you ensure your property rental is smooth sailing.
Clarify Your Budget
The first rule in a successful rental is to clarify the maximum budget you can spend monthly on your rent. It's best to have two milestones - the price you would like to pay, and secondly the highest price your income will allow. If you're lucky you will find a suitable, charming property within the first price bracket, however you might have to stretch higher to the second budget amount if your expectations turn out to be unrealistic in terms of the property prices in the area(s) you are looking to live.
Do Your Homework
Once you know your monthly rental budget, you can filter your online searches accordingly. Luckily, in the UK these days there are a number of good sites where you can filter properties by a number of factors in addition to price, such as location, bedrooms, furnished or unfurnished and so on. Bear in mind that a good property (fairly spacious, convenient location, in good condition) will go quickly, so you'll want to drop everything and run for a viewing if you find one. That said, unless you're absolutely sure that a property is for you, don't grab the first thing you see as the very next day the home of your dreams could go on the market - leave yourself time to do a few viewings before you make your final choice.
In addition to the asking monthly rental fee, do budget for additional fees levied by the Estate Agents and/or landlord. Most rental properties will require at least one month's deposit. Then there are admin fees such as the credit check, which will cost approximately Â£40 to Â£100. Some agents also charge for drawing up the contracts and for renewing your contract once the agreed tenancy term is over.
After that, you'll also need to factor in the removal company, or at the very least a removal van. Lastly, if the new property is smaller than your current one or if you're moving in with someone, it might be the case that not all your belongings will fit into the new home - in this case you will need a monthly self-storage solution. It's also wise to budget at least an extra Â£150 for unforeseen sundries, such as having to buy new curtains and small DIY jobs.
While it's an unappealing task, it's important you carefully read the Terms & Conditions of your tenancy agreement. Pay particular attention to hidden fees, liabilities, draconian rules, upkeep and renewal processes. It's best to ask all of your questions on email so that there is a record of what's been agreed.
A further laborious but important piece of paperwork is the inventory list. Be sure to go through and compare it with your property thoroughly, since if any damage is not listed when you move in, you will likely have it taken off your deposit when you vacate the property. This is the most frequent cause of disputes, so it's a good idea to take pictures of any grey areas to be sure you're not roped into unfair repairs.
It's also vital to iron out exactly where the responsibilities lie when it comes to maintenance of the property. For example, do you have to get permission from the agency or landlord and use their preferred suppliers when maintenance or fixes are needed, or is it up to you to go ahead and find suppliers?
Other key areas are the boiler, appliances and windows. Check that the boiler in the new property has an up to date health certificate with regular check-ups made, since the last thing you want is for it to pack up in winter. As for the windows, when viewing a property, check that they open easily because if not you will suffer in summer. Likewise, be sure that the white goods like washing machine and fridge are in good order when doing a viewing.
You might strike it lucky and find that you can use existing services without paying for a reconnection fee. On the other hand, being stuck with an expensive utility supplier in your contract when there are many cheaper options will be aggravating. Do iron this out with the landlord or agent.
Be sure to find out if you or your landlord will provide contents insurance on the rental property. If it is your responsibility, don't forget to check whether the place has adequate window and door locks when doing a viewing, since if this is not the case it will be difficult if not impossible to get insurance.
Be sure that your contract includes at least one month's notice for you to move out. Conversely, find out how much you would have to pay if you need to vacate the property before the end of your tenancy agreement.
Going over budget due to unforeseen costs, not realising that you need a reliable cheap self storage company because not all your belongings will fit into the new property, draconian Estate Agent rental agreements - all these factors can put a major damper on renting a new home. By taking the above tips on board, the pitfalls can be avoided.
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