The summer months are the busiest time of year to rent a new property - houses are looking their best in the sunshine, students have graduated and new jobs are starting.
The summer months are the busiest time of year to rent a new property – houses are looking their best in the sunshine, students have graduated and new jobs are starting.
But the process can be stressful and much more expensive than you initially expected if you don’t know what you’re doing.
So we’ve put together some top tips for first-time renters so you’re a bit more prepared.
1. Plan your budget beforehand
Work out your take home salary each month, and budget for rent, food, travel and bills. Make sure you know exactly how much you can afford on rent, so you don’t waste time looking at places you can’t afford.
2. Ring estate agents directly
Zoopla and Rightmove are great places to start looking and get a feel for the market, but don’t rely on them. Properties are often snapped up quickly and not updated on the website, so before you fall in love with your dream house, ring the letting agent to check it’s still free and book a viewing. Don’t rely on email – by the time the agent gets back to you it might already have gone.
3. Check out the agency fees
Letting agents can charge for drawing up a tenancy agreement, carrying out credit checks, getting references, and a number of other administrative things. They can also charge you a holding deposit to reserve a property. Such fees are pretty much inevitable if going through a letting agency rather than a private landlord, but they can vary wildly between agencies. Check their website for a breakdown of fees.
4. Take your time looking round
When you’ve finally found a place that ticks all the boxes and you’re ready to look round it, don’t let the agent rush you. Take photos of the property if you’d like, and ask all the questions you need to. Does it come furnished? What are the rules on decorating? Sit on the mattress and test out the shower pressure – after all, you could be paying a hefty sum to live here.
5. Check how much your council tax will be
Ask the agent how much council tax will be – different properties in different local authorities command different council tax amounts, and it can have an impact on your budget.
6. Find out if you need a guarantor
Some letting agents will require you to have a guarantor, for example if you have started a new job and are in a probation period. There might be conditions on your guarantor, for example he or she might need to be a property owner themselves. Check this with the letting agent to make sure you meet the requirements.
Here at Belvoir Liverpool Central we have a number of properties to rent, if you are looking to rent for the first time, or are planning to move, please do not hesitate to give us a call on 0151 231 1613.