March 1, 2014

Top Tips for Renting a Home

At some point in our lives we will all need to rent; with the current economy and extortionate house prices, it looks like those of us who make up the younger generations could be renting for the foreseeable future.

Even with all of the initiatives out there to try and help first time buyers get onto the property market it is still almost an impossible task. The trouble for most people is that rents are so high they cannot afford to save for a deposit, but could easily afford the mortgage.

However, renting doesn’t have to be all bad, there are things you can do to try and make the experience a little bit more palatable and enjoyable.

  1. Research
    Make sure you research the area and have a wonder round before you commit to renting. Prices will vary greatly based on location, but if you have children then you will want to weigh this up against the quality of the schools whose catchment you are in. Doing you research will help you find the most suitable place for your situation.
  2. Use the whole market
    When it comes to renting the first thing most of us do is turn to the large rental websites or the high street letting agents, but be sure to search the whole market. Use listing websites to find private rentals. This also forms part of your research as you will get a better understanding of true value for places.
  3. Take your time viewing
    It seems to be a given that when looking at a rental property you have to run around it and then make a decision. Well don’t. If you like somewhere then check it all over, does the dishwasher work properly, is there good water pressure to the taps and shower, all the things which make a massive difference to your standard of living.
    If there is an opportunity view it at different times of day too, so that you can get a feel for how much outside noise or disturbance there is.
  4. Check the fees
    Before committing ask your agent about their fees for credit checks and references etc. Make sure you aren’t getting ripped off and if you are ask to pay less, especially if you have a good history. Remember agents want you to rent their properties as much as you want to rent them sometimes.
  5. Haggle
    Who said you have to pay the list price, even £20 a month less will add up over time. If you have the cash why not offer five or six months upfront in return for a heavy discount.
  6. Inventory
    Check the inventory with a fine toothed comb and don’t rush it just because you want to move in. Long term anything missed from this will bite you in the bum as you may be charged for it from your deposit. Make sure everything is as it says it is, take photos of all scratches, dents, scuffs and marks, date and sign them so that nothing can be disputed when you leave.
  7. Deposit
    Don’t let your deposit go easily. By law every deduction from your deposit has to be accounted for and proof has to be provided.

Bannisters are a Bicester and Aylesbury Property Management agency, specialising in finding homes for renters, and finding tenants for landlords.

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