Exceeding Expectations

Renting a Property Guide

Choosing to rent is a decision that provides many people with the flexibility their modern lifestyles require.

Renting a Property Guide

However, there are a number of important elements that must be considered to ensure you are happy in your rental accommodation.

1. Benefits of renting

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Renting today is a positive lifestyle choice and many people prefer not to have the long term obligations that come with property ownership.

Additionally, a lot of individuals want to live in popular city centres where property prices are at a premium. Renting provides a cost effective alternative and frees tenants of the responsibility of property repairs and upkeep.

2. Choosing an area

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In choosing an area in which to live you should consider:

  • Your budget – some areas are more expensive than others.
  • Your commute to work, are the transport links good?
  • How near are friends and family?
  • If you have any special interests that need to be catered for in your chosen area.
  • If there are shopping facilities nearby.
  • What you want from the environment – open spaces, lively nightlife?
  • What services are important to you – schools, hospitals?
  • Popularity of the area.

When choosing a location, take the time to visit and walk around. The area might look good on paper but you may detect a different atmosphere once you're actually there.

3. Finding a property

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Once you have chosen an area the next step is to start your property search.

Consider how much rent you can pay each month and what type of property you can afford in your chosen area.

You should also consider how much space you need, the layout you want and any extra requirements, such as a garden, balcony or parking space. It’s also worth assessing how your furniture and belongings will fit in your chosen property, however you do have the option of putting your belongings in self storage.

Once you have decided on the location and property type you require, you can research the market using online property portals and offline media.

It's also wise to enlist the services of a letting agents that has a good knowledge of the area you wish to move to. Speaking directly to the agent will put you ahead of the game and a good agent will call you about suitable properties as soon as they become available.

Countrywide has a market leading network of letting agencies across the UK waiting to help you find your dream property. Find a letting agent near you.

4. Securing a rental property

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Once you have found a rental property that is suitable, the following process will be implemented:

  • Tenancy Agreement – The length of tenancy, the associated notice periods and monthly rental payments will need to be agreed by you and the landlord.
  • Reference checking – This will take into account your credit history, employment status and past references from previous landlords. It will normally take about five to ten working days to take up and confirm references.
  • Deposit and first month's rent clearance – You will be required to put down a deposit. If you fail to pay your rent, or cause any damage to the property, the landlord has a right to deduct any costs from your deposit.
  • Service transfer – Some letting agents will require that services, council tax and utilities are transferred into your name before you move in.

5. Living in a rental property

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Living in a rental property differs from living in a property of your own. Things to consider include:

  • Insurance - Ensure you are covered not only for your own items but also any potential damage to your landlord's property. Countrywide's specialist tenants insurance is designed specifically for those living in rental properties.
  • Bills - Ensure your tenancy agreement stipulates who is responsible for which bills.
  • Maintenance - By law, landlords are responsible for any electricity, heating and gas problems and should provide assistance immediately.
  • Right of entry - In general a landlord will need to provide you with 24 hours notice and gain your permission if they wish to enter the property.
  • Pets - Some landlords won't allow pets so check out the situation before you move in.

6. Tenant responsibilities

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As a tenant there are a number of obligations you must adhere to, these include:

  • Payment of rent according to the conditions set out in the tenancy agreement.
  • Payment of council tax as required.
  • Payment of service and utility bills as specified in the tenancy agreement.
  • Payment of your TV licence.
  • Taking proper care of the property and keeping it in a good condition.

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