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Renting property is a significant commitment, and it’s important that you set yourself a realistic rental budget that allows you to comfortably meet your monthly rental payments and your other financial outgoings. It is also advisable to allow yourself a monthly financial buffer to cover any unexpected costs.
When renting, you will have to consider both the monthly rental cost and your initial deposit.
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Once you have established a budget, the next step is to investigate the property market. There are several ways to do this including the local press, letting agent’s windows and online property websites and portals.
Propertywide has details of thousands of properties for rent across the UK, all of which are updated on a daily basis.
Before beginning the search for your rental home it is vital to establish a list of constraints and priorities.
Firstly, list all of the features you consider to be essential
- Monthly rental cost.
- Number of bedrooms.
- Commuting distance.
- Local area amenities and attractions.
- Who is managing the property.
Once you have established these key credentials you can begin a detailed search.
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Once you have an idea of the type of rental property you are looking for and your budget, it's advisable to speak to a letting agent. Your local letting agents will be the first to know when a suitable rental property comes on to the market.
There are many letting agents on the high street but it is vital to employ the services of those who have a strong brand presence and a reputation for delivering a high quality service. Countrywide letting agents have a long-history of success and are renowned for their national coverage and unsurpassed expertise.
It is important to get to know your agent, visit them and discuss your requirements face to face and ensure they are regulated. This will ensure that when you contact your letting agent they'll remember you and be familiar with your requirements.
Tips to help you get the most from a letting agent
Be clear about your requirements - tell the agent which of your property requirements are fixed, and which are more flexible.
- Be clear about the locations you will and won't consider.
- After viewings, give as much feedback to your letting agent as possible – this will give a better idea of what you like and dislike.
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When you find a property that meets all your requirements, the next step is to arrange a viewing.
Before the viewing - make a list of the property's pros and cons, this will enable you to give thorough consideration to each of them then and there.
Never view property alone - if you are a single tenant, ask a friend to accompany you or arrange for the letting agent to go along for security reasons.
Consider the exterior - assess what the street is like and how well maintained the properties are, this will give you an indication of the desirability of the area. Look at the property itself, does it have private off-street parking? Is the front of the property in good repair?
Consider the Interior - does the layout of the home work for you? Is the property to let fully or partially furnished? Are white goods included? Do you like the décor? If not, ask the agent if the landlord is happy for you to re-decorate?
Once you have found your ideal property you will need to negotiate with the letting agents and agree your tenancy. For more information read our Guide to Renting.
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Having found your ideal rental property and agreed your tenancy you will need to start planning your move.
- If you are moving into a furnished property and only have a few possessions, request the help of friends and family to assist in moving you. Ensure you give them plenty of notice so they are available to help.
- If your move is temporary and you have lots of items to keep in storage, ensure you choose a reliable self storage provider and transport your items to the storage centre a couple of days in advance of your move.
- If you are moving into unfurnished accommodation and have lots of personal items to transport, you may need to hire a van or removals company.
- If you decide to hire a self-drive van or use a removals company there are a number points to consider:
- Obtain quotes from several companies.
- If possible, choose to move mid-week as this may be cheaper.
- Provisionally book your removals company 6 weeks in advance.
- Confirm plans and obtain arrangements in writing once you have agreed a move in date with the landlord.
- Check your insurance covers you for transportation of your possessions.
Start packing early
- Make an inventory of everything you are moving and give a copy of this to the removals firm.
- Try to use smaller boxes when packing as this will be easier and safer to carry.
- Devise a colour code or visual method to indicate which boxes go into which room.
- Write a clear message or use 'fragile’ sticky tape on any boxes which are breakable.
- Pack up any non-essential items early.
- Save old newspapers for wrapping items for safe storage and transportation.
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Confirm your move time
- Check with your Letting agent / landlord what time you will be able to gain access to the property.
Redirect your mail
Set up a redirection of your mail by visiting the royalmail website. It takes 5 days and will ensure your mail is redirected when you move home.
Create a checklist of persons you need to notify of your new address e.g.:
- Financial companies i.e. banks, pensions, life assurances, loans, savings and credit cards.
- Employer, Doctors, Dentist, Optician, School/s, Gym and Tax Office.
- Milkman, daily papers and publications.
- TV Licence (if applicable). You must notify TV Licensing if you move. You could risk prosecution and a fine, so complete the form online by visiting www.tvlicensing.co.uk
- Satellite/cable company.
- This is a good time to clear anything out that you do not want to take with you.
- Donate any furnishing or clothing you no longer want.
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Now your moving day is finally here you will need to be on the ball. Make sure you get a good night sleep and have plenty of energy for what will be a busy day.
Last minute preparations
- Pack any last items.
- Put together a survival kit of items:
- Kettle, mugs, cutlery, coffee, tea, sugar, milk, tea towel and kitchen towel.
- Toilet rolls, hand towel, cleaning items.
Brief your removals company and helpers
- Alert the removers of any boxes that may be fragile.
- Swap mobile numbers so you can keep in-touch when in transit.
- Check removers have the full address and directions of the new property.
- Check you haven’t left anything behind, entering each room and scanning the area.
- Take a final reading of all metres.
- Ensure windows and doors are locked and secure, if applicable.
Collect your new keys
- Pick up your new keys from the letting agent or directly from the landlord.
- Show the removers which rooms to put your items in (if not marked).
- Make sure you, the landlord and letting agent note down the gas and electricity providers and meter readings. If you are able to, you should shop around for the best utility providers once you are settled in.
- Check that the landline phone (if applicable), electricity, gas and hot water are all working.
- Make sure any items included within the rent agreement are there, if anything is missing or damaged notify the letting agent or landlord, whoever is your contact.
- If the property is not being managed by a letting agent then ask the landlord for a list of his "handy helpers" that you can call if there is an emergency especially plumbing. Obviously, this is only to be used if you can’t reach the landlord because he/she is away.
- Ask the letting agent / landlord for a user manual or clear instructions for any appliances, heating and hot water. This will reduce the chance of being accused of breaking anything.
Relax and Celebrate
By the end of this busy day you will be tired, so relax and enjoy a takeaway and celebrate your achievement – you deserve it!