There is no denying that the rental market is booming in the United Kingdom at the moment. One of the main reasons for this is because people do not have enough money to purchase a property outright. This is of little surprise when you consider how much property prices have increased over the past decade, as well as the difficulty that is associated with securing a good mortgage deal. Moreover, there are some people that simply prefer the freedom of renting. They can up and leave whenever they see fit, and they do not have to pay for any repairs to the property either. So, with that in mind, if you are thinking about renting a property, read on to find out some of the mistakes that you need to avoid.
Failing to work out what you can really afford - There is only one place to begin, and this is with the financial side of things. You need to take the time to work out what you can afford. Remember, you will need to pay a deposit and admin fees upfront. In addition to this, you will need to make sure that you can afford all of the monthly payments associated with your new potential home. Don’t only consider the rental amount, but make sure you add up all of your expected monthly bill costs, including council tax, utility bills and so on. This will give you a clear picture as to the amount of money you can afford to pay on a monthly basis.
Only viewing the property once - In addition to failing to work out what you can really afford, you also need to avoid the blunder of only viewing the property once. This is especially important for long-term rentals. When viewing the property, make sure you check out the local amenities too, and you also need to view the property at different times of the day.
Not giving yourself enough time - Of course, there are going to be circumstances whereby you literally have no time on your side. However, if you are in a position whereby you can look at properties at a somewhat leisurely pace, make the most of this. It is better to take your time and find the perfect rental property for you, rather than rushing into it and paying for a property that is not fully suitable.
Failing to ask about the bills - You need to find out who is responsible for council tax, water bills, gas bills, and electricity bills. In most cases, it will be the tenant that needs to fund these, so make sure that all of the relevant accounts are set up. You will need to call all of the service providers to make sure that your name is put on the accounts. Moreover, you may be entitled to discounts. If you are moving into the property by yourself, you can get 25 per cent off your council tax bill, so make sure you inform the council that you are a single person occupier.
Ruling out options before really considering them - One mistake that a lot of people make is ruling out lots of property types without really considering them. You may decide that you are only going to look at houses or a duplex condo for rent. However, if you do this, you could miss out on lots of great deals and plenty of amazing properties. The best thing to do is be open minded and view plenty of different properties until you find one that is just right for you.
Not making an inventory or thoroughly checking the inventory that was provided - You also need to make sure you draw up a fully inventory of what is in the property when you move in. You should also take photographs of the state of the property. This will ensure that you are protected when the time comes to get your deposit back. It is probable that the letting agent may have given you an inventory when you moved in, as well as photographs of the state of the property. If they have done this, make sure everything matches up.
Failing to find out where your deposit is being held - It is imperative that your deposit is put into a Tenancy Deposit Protection scheme. This has been a legal requirement in the UK since April 2007. This is an authorised scheme that protects the deposit. It was put in place to lower the possibility of your landlord trying to pocket your deposit unreasonably at the end of the tenancy. Under these schemes, the landlord has two weeks to tell you whether the deposit is being handed back or not.
Failing to examine the interior and exterior structure - When you are viewing the property in question, you must check the visible appearance of the exterior of the building. It is likely the interior is going to be in poor condition if the exterior is in disrepair. Some of the things you need to be looking out for include the drains, guttering, damaged windows, leaning walls, and visible cracks. If the garden is a shared one, make sure you find out who is responsible for the upkeep. When checking the interior, there are a few questions you should ask yourself. This includes the following: Is there roof insulation and double glazing? Do the radiators work? Is there central heating? You should also check to make sure the lights work, turn on the taps to ensure the water flows at a good pressure, and look out for any signs of dampness.
Not putting together a list of all of the things you need - Another mistake that a lot of renters make is diving right into the property viewing process without making a list of all of the things they need. Is it essential for you to be in walking distance of a bus stop, for example? Are there a minimum number of bedrooms you require? These are the sort of questions you need to ask yourself. This will help you to draw up a list of all of the things that are 100 per cent non-negotiable.
Signing a contract without fully understanding it - You would be surprised by how many people make this mistake. They don’t read through the contract. They simply sign it because they feel under pressure while they are sitting in the letting agent’s office. However, if you do this, you could be signing anything and, therefore, agreeing to anything. There could be anything from hidden fees to sneaky terms placed within the contract, so you really need to make sure you read it properly and fully understand it.
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding regarding some of the common mistakes people make when they are looking for a property to rent. If you can avoid the blunders that have been discussed above, you can give yourself a great chance of finding the perfect property for you while also enjoying a smooth life there without any troubles from the landlord. So, all that is left to say is good luck with your rental property search!