Top Tips for Renters

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Renting has many benefits. It can be cheaper than owning, which allows you to save more. It is also more advantageous to those who are relocating for employment or studying away from home as it provides you with the flexibility to move somewhere else quite quickly in comparison to having to sell and buy property. Here are a few handy tips from us:

1. Preparing your finances

Before you begin your property search, we advise calculating how much rent you can afford. The average monthly cost of rent is 35% of your regular wage. Remember you will also have to budget for amenities such as utility bills, broadband, TV licence, council tax as well as food and general household items.

2. Find a suitable property to rent

Search online for properties in areas that you want to live in and register your details with us. Choosing the right letting agent is as important as your choice of property. Remember that the rental market is usually fast-moving and that good properties in popular areas don’t stay on the market for very long. If you see something that may suit your needs, get your skates on and arrange a viewing.

3. Consider a managed property

An increasing number of tenants insist on renting fully Managed properties for complete peace of mind.

Renting a Managed property with Andrew Louis has the benefit of a dedicated Property Manager to handle your day-to-day issues, a 24-hour online repair reporting system should a problem arise and the assurance that your property is fully compliant with all health and safety regulations.

4. The tenancy agreement

When you’ve found your perfect rental home you will be required to pay a holding deposit (a maximum of 1 weeks' rent) to have the property taken off the market. Assuming you pass the credit and referencing process, the agent will draw up an Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement for signing by you and the landlord/agent. Read the agreement very carefully before signing and if you are unsure of anything don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. The Tenancy Agreement is a legal document and binds you and the landlord to the terms within it. So make sure they are in accordance with your understanding.

5. Advance rent and deposit

You will usually be required to pay the balance of the deposit and advance rent in clear funds. The deposit will be held by the agent on behalf of the landlord for the duration of the tenancy. Its purpose is to provide the landlord with compensation if you damage the property or its contents. Fair wear and tear is excluded from these dilapidations. All deposits in assured shorthold tenancies must be registered with one of the government-approved tenancy deposit schemes that guarantees no-one can run off with the money. The deposit scheme will also provide a dispute resolution service if, at the end of the tenancy, you cannot agree the amount charged by the landlord or their agent for the dilapidations.

6. Inventories

Even if the property is being let unfurnished, it is really important to have a properly prepared and comprehensively detailed inventory, which is carefully reviewed and signed by tenant and landlord. It will list any existing faults in the property such as areas of damaged decoration, marks on carpets or chips in bath enamel. This ensures that when the dilapidations are assessed at the end of the tenancy you will not be charged for those that were already in the property before you moved in. A good inventory will include photographs of such faults.

7. Paying the rent

You will probably be paying the monthly rent by standing order to the landlord or their agent. Always ensure that rent is paid on time and in full. Non-payment of rent is a serious matter that can end up in court. If there is any problem with the property, do not withhold payment of the rent. Such an action is guaranteed to make resolution all the more difficult and puts you in breach of the terms of the tenancy agreement. It can also show up in future referencing checks and might cause problems if you come to rent another property.

8. At the end of the tenancy

When the tenancy period is nearing its end, you can ask if the landlord will agree to renew the tenancy (the amount of the rent may change and there may be some administration charges to pay) or you can leave the property. Arrange to move out by the agreed time on the agreed day. Make sure the property is clean and tidy and in at least the same condition as when you moved in.

8. Repaying your deposit

Shortly after you move out, you will receive an account from the landlord or their agent detailing the charges for dilapidations, if any, that you agreed when the inventory was reviewed during the check-out. Providing you agree the amounts, the balance of your deposit should be returned.



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