As the UK’s largest high street property experts, we’ve put together some of our top tips and advice on how to find a property to rent that ticks all your boxes. So whether you’re looking at renting for the first time, or you’re currently renting and need some advice, we’re here to help.
Finding an area
It’s really important that you do your homework on locations. Picking where you want to live shouldn’t be taken lightly and you need to factor in three important things.
- Transport links
How easy is it for you to get from A to B? If you’re moving to an area that has poor transport links then you may end up worse off!
What’s around? If you’re moving from a thriving, highly-populated area with amenities that are within walking distance to an area with not so much around, take into account the travelling time to get to places such as your local supermarket.
If you don’t own a car, you should have a good look at how much public transport would be to get to the stores that you need. Find out how easy it is to get signed up to a doctors surgery and a dentist, some areas have a long waiting list and it’s always good to be completely in the know before moving.
If you have children, then schools will be one of the most important parts of the move. Will they still be able to attend their current schools and if not, which schools in the area have the best OFSTED rating?
Book a viewing
If you find a property you like, try to book a viewing as quickly as you can. The lettings industry is very fast moving and in some areas, properties can be let just hours after coming onto the market.
Our agents are extremely flexible and want to help you find the property that works for you. They’ll arrange a time that is mutually agreeable for you to view the property, and they will come around with you to answer any queries or concerns you might have.
It’s important to remember that all Belvoir agents are local people, they know the area like the back of their hand, and if you want to know a bit more about the local area, just ask – we’re always more than happy to help.
Putting in an offer
Once you’ve found the property, it’s time to put in an offer to the landlord. Once this is accepted and our team have done their checks to confirm you’re a reliable tenant, your deposit will be lodged in an approved tenancy deposit scheme.
This will ensure that your deposit remains secure during your tenancy period, and you’ll be made aware of where it is held. Background checks include contacting your employer and previous landlord.
Whose responsibility is it?
Once you have comfortably moved in to your new home, it is always beneficial to understand what your responsibilities are as a tenant, as well as what you should expect from your landlord. Below you’ll find some guidance on what falls under the tenant’s responsibility, and what falls under the landlord’s responsibility.
Rent: This is one of the tenant’s biggest responsibilities. As part of your tenancy agreement, you agree to pay your rent on time each month. Defaulting in rental payments could damage your deposit and future tenancies.
Right to rent: It is the landlord or managing agent’s responsibility to conduct a check to ensure every tenant has the right to rent in England. This check is also carried out on anyone over the age of 18 that will be living with you.
Bills: Unless stated otherwise, it is the tenant’s responsibility to pay bills, this includes water, gas and electricity. A tenant must also pay Council Tax, TV license and may need to pay for a phone line and internet/TV packages if required. It is also important that a tenant checks their tenancy agreement to ensure they don’t have to pay any additional charges such as community charges.
Looking after the property: Ultimately it is the tenant’s responsibility to look after the home on a day to day basis. This means ensuring there is no damage to the furnishings if the property came furnished, reporting any repairs to the landlord or managing agent, changing lightbulbs if required and checking smoke alarms are working. Additional responsibilities include correctly disposing of rubbish and keeping to the terms of the agreement in regards to smoking, parking and keeping the garden tidy.
Maintenance: It is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure that any maintenance issues that have been reported by the tenant are taken seriously and are fixed within a reasonable timeframe. A landlord must also ensure their property meets all of the correct gas and electrical safety regulations.
Responsibility over visitors: It is a tenant’s responsibility to ensure that their household, or visitors to their household behave in a respectful manner. Antisocial behaviours could lead to eviction of the tenant.
Gain permission: It is imperative as a tenant that correct permission is sought before making any changes to the property. This is also required if a tenant wishes to run a business from a rented property.
Access: A landlord must leave a tenant to live in their home without interference. A landlord must gain permission to enter the property and may not enter the property without giving the tenant prior notice and arranging a mutually agreeable time.
Moving out: It is the tenant’s responsibility to ensure that the property is returned to its original state. We always recommend having the property professionally cleaned upon exit to ensure that the deposit is returned in full.
The tenant’s belongings should be removed from the property and all that should be left are fixtures and furnishings that were in the property when the tenant moved in.