Becoming a tenant for the first time!
It’s an exciting time when you are moving to your first rental property, however, it can also be a little daunting, as there are many things to do. From finding your perfect home, to knowing your rights as a tenant, our blog gives you an insight on what steps to take.
Finding your perfect home can take time, so be patient and don’t rush into it. You need to decide what type of home you want, is it a flat, a family home you are after, depending on your circumstances you will need to decide what is the best option for you. Once you know the type of home you are looking for, make sure you find the right area too! Some people will prefer to look for a home near their parents, some will be moving into a new city because of their job and families can decide on an area based on a school they want their child to attend.
There are many factors to consider when looking for the right area. Go for a drive during the day and evening and get a feel for the area. Does it have the local amenities you want, is it close to the right school for your children, does it have good transportation links and is it safe? Exploring the area before you start looking for a property is great, as the first move can decide on an area for you to live in the long term, even when you decide to purchase a property in the future.
Other factors to consider, is that some properties come fully furnished, some won’t, and some especially properties with multiple tenants, may include bills such as gas, electricity and broadband.
If you are not looking for a house share, does the area you are looking for, have the right broadband speed? With more of us working from home and if you have children in your household, the battle for broadband width can be crucial sometimes, so make sure that the home you are looking to rent, has all features you need.
When you have found your perfect rental property, you will have to pay a deposit, which is typically 5 weeks, since the introduction of the Tenant Fees Act on June 1st 2019. The deposit is in place to cover things such as any damage to the property and unpaid bills. If you meet the terms and conditions of your tenancy agreement, this will be returned to you by the end of your agreement.
By law, your deposit needs to be kept with a deposit protection scheme. The scheme is in place to act as an intermediary between you and the landlord to keep your money safe. You can read more about deposit protection schemes in our previous blog by clicking here.
The Tenant Fees Act has also meant that there is a ban on fees from agents and landlords, however, holding fees may be applicable whilst checks are being made. These checks include a credit check, references and an inventory check for the property. This type of fee is capped at one week’s rent and must be returned to you within seven days upon a decision being made, unless you have provided misleading information on your application; you’ve failed a right to rent check or if you change your mind and decide you don’t want to rent that property anymore.
As a tenant, there are many rights and responsibilities to consider. You are protected from unfair eviction and rental increases; your deposit should be protected in an approved deposit protection scheme and your property should be safe too!
You also have responsibilities such as taking care of your rental property; paying your rent on the agreed date; paying all utility bills on time; paying or repairing any damages; allowing your landlord or agent to inspect your property providing sufficient notice has been given; not sub-let your property and reporting any issues that you find straight away so they are fixed.
When you find your perfect home and move in, you should carry out your own inventory check and see if this matches to the one given to you. Read your gas and electricity meters so you are not charged for any use by the previous tenant. You should also update your driving license, register for council tax and register for a TV license.
These are some insightful tips from us!
Whether you are looking to rent your first property, or move to a new rental property, our dedicated lettings team will help you find your perfect home and guide you every step of the process. To find your perfect rental home, speak with us today by calling us on 0116 266 9977!