How to rent a home: the key things you should know

Renting provides the flexibility to reside in a property that suits your current circumstances. If you're new to renting, the process might seem overwhelming with numerous aspects to consider for a smooth tenancy. This comprehensive guide aims to provide you with valuable insights, highlighting what to watch out for and key questions to consider throughout the rental process.

Fixed-Term and Periodic Tenancies

One crucial decision is determining the duration for which you'll need to rent the property. Fixed-term tenancies typically span from six months to seven years. At the end of this fixed term, you'll have the option to renew for another fixed term.

It's important to note that you can no longer be charged for renewing your tenancy. If you choose not to renew, your tenancy automatically becomes a periodic tenancy, operating on a month-to-month basis. While this offers greater flexibility, landlords can issue a Notice to Quit, providing four weeks' notice for you to vacate the property. Rent increases are also possible with periodic tenancies, so unless you plan to end the tenancy soon, renewing for another fixed term is often a sensible choice.

Before You Begin Your Property Search

Check Your Finances:Calculate the monthly amount you can afford after regular expenses, considering you'll also need to pay a deposit (capped at the cost of five weeks' rent). Don't forget to budget for additional costs like internet, TV licenses, and council tax (note: students are usually exempt from council tax).

List the Important Details:

Create a checklist outlining your requirements for the new home. Consider the following factors:

  • Parking Availability:

    • Is there designated parking for residents?
  • Pet Permissions:

    • Are pets allowed in the property?
  • Number of Bedrooms:

    • Determine the ideal number of bedrooms for your needs.
  • Furniture Requirements:

    • Decide whether you'll be bringing your own furniture or need a furnished property.
  • Storage Needs:

    • Assess the storage options available in the property.
  • Outdoor Space:

    • Determine if there's any outdoor space, such as a garden or balcony.
  • Broadband Speed:

    • Check the broadband speed in the area to ensure it meets your requirements.

Explore the Neighborhood:Check local transport links, especially if you have a daily commute. Evaluate the proximity of amenities like supermarkets and get a feel for the overall area. A reputable letting agent should be able to provide insights into the local community.

Viewing Properties

During property viewings, pay attention to the space, condition, and safety aspects. Landlords have legal obligations concerning tenant safety, including gas safety checks, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, electrical safety, and energy efficiency.

This guide serves as a valuable resource to navigate the intricacies of renting, ensuring you make informed decisions throughout the process. For more information or assistance, feel free to reach out to us.

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