About to move into your first rental home? Here are 5 important things you need to know before moving in! In this post, I share my top 5 rental tips for new tenants. Read my advice on what you need to do before signing that tenancy agreement!
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Moving into your first rental property is super exciting but it can also be a daunting experience too. From making sure you choose the right home to knowing how to protect your rights as a tenant, there’s certainly a lot to think about before your move.
5 Clever Rental Tips For New Tenants
So, what should you watch out for as you plan to move into your first rental home?
1. Get the feel for the area you want to live in
Have a really good long think about where you want to rent. Do you want to live near where you work? Or would you prefer to live in an area that has an active night life? Or somewhere peaceful close to a large park? When I was renting my first flat in London, I took into consideration the cost of rent, how long it would take me to commute to work, what there was to do in the area at the weekends and evenings, as well as free parking options. That’s how I ended up in Brighton!
Take your time to explore the area you want to rent in. Spend a few weekends walking around the area to find out which streets you like the most, check out the local pubs and cafes, see if there is a gym, post office, and bank nearby. Even try out the commute to your workplace as well. Get a really good feel for the place.
Once you have done lot of local research, you’ll know immediately when the perfect rental property comes on the market and snap it up!
2. Opt for a reputed estate agency
Estate agents and brokerage firms will take the hassle out of looking for rental properties saving you time and money. Not sure where to start? You can look up listed properties online to make it easier to find a decent agency.
One of the first things you should find out first is their charges. Most estate agents and brokerage firms charge tenants a fee and you’ll want to find out before you start home hunting. A reputable firm will be happy to share this type of information with you.
Before you pass over your details to rental estate agencies, make sure you are clear on what up front fees and charges are so there are no nasty surprises.
3. Examine the property carefully
When making viewing of your new rental home, make sure that you have a good look at the place before you decide to move in. Look out for leaky pipes, broken window panes, electrical hazards, damp, mould, wonky taps, scuffed walls and check the condition of any appliances. Take photos of anything you are unhappy with. You could even take a second pair of eyes with you to help you spot for anything untoward. And go view your rental in the daytime when you can see the place in full light as flaws will show up easier.
Make your new landlord aware of any issues and ask them to fix them before moving in. You can ask for it to be a condition of your tenancy. And don’t forget to check the works before you move in. There’s nothing worse than moving in your rental to find out your landlord hasn’t fixed that broken shower head they promised they would look into.
And if you want to decorate your rental home, make sure you check that is cool with your landlord before you agree to move in. You don’t want to get stuck with ugly decor! And at the same time, you don’t want to paint your pad and then have to paint it back at the end. If you are looking for rental styling ideas – check out my popular post 10 CHEAP & EASY DECORATING TIPS FOR RENTERS.
4. Check your proposed tenancy agreement
Probably the most important thing in this entire list. Read all clauses carefully. Tenancy agreements are often written so they favour the landlord in case of a stalemate. If you are unsure – either walk away or ask a tenancy lawyer to go through the agreement.
Be clear on things like:
- The amount of rent you need to pay, the frequency and mode of payment and how often do they plan on incrementing it.
- What the tenancy guidelines are in case you are renting a property in a residential complex.
- Whether you need to pay out any kind of maintenance fee for your new rental home.
- What the minimum tenancy length is and what the notice period is for vacating the premises. This is particularly important as you may end up forfeiting a lot of money if decided you want to move our early.
5. Consider getting rental insurance
One thing you may not have thought in the run up to moving into your rental is about home insurance. Your landlord will have property insurance but that will not cover break ins or if personal belongs are damaged due to a leak or fire. Personal insurance won’t break the bank and it will cover expensive items like mobile phones, laptops, bikes and jewellery. Coverage can include burglary to natural disasters. The average cost of renters insurance is fairly reasonable and varies across companies.
Again, it’s really important to go over the finer details when it comes to insurance. It’s a common misconception that insurance only applies to expensive items but it can cover your handbag if it gets stolen on the train or if your bike is nicked outside work. Check the fine print!
5 Clever Rental Tips For New Tenants
Excited about moving into your first rental? Now you’re armed with 5 top rental tips, picking your prefect rental property is going to be a breeze! I hope that you find all this information above helpful, and if you follow it to the letter it will save you money, and give you peace of mind before signing that rental agreement. So happy home hunting!