Renting is an excellent option for many people as it is not as much of a commitment as owning a home and it is a way for those that are currently unable to buy to find somewhere to live. While renting can be beneficial for a wide range of people, it can also be challenging and difficult to find a suitable place, and there are a number of important factors to consider. So, if you are looking to lease a flat, house or apartment but you are not sure where to begin then read on for our seven handy tips.
- Work Out How Much You Can Afford
Renting will involve putting a deposit down and then making monthly payments to the landlord. It may or may not include bills so you will need to factor this in also. How much you pay will depend on the size of the property, how many (if any) other people there are, the neighborhood, area of the country and other factors. As a general rule of thumb, it is a smart move not to spend more than 30% of your household income on rent.
- Viewing Properties
Once you have worked out how much you are able to afford, you will want to begin looking at suitable properties. Give each place a careful inspection and, if possible, speak to the people that currently live there to get an idea of what it is like. It can also be helpful to bring someone along with you as a second set of eyes and also to visit the property on more than one occasion and at different times of the day. In addition to the property itself, take a walk around the neighborhood and consider aspects like your commute to work, how close the local shops are, what public transport is like, and so on.
- Making An Offer
If you like what you see, then you will want to make an offer. You may be able to negotiate a lower price, and your realtor will be able to advise on this. If the offer is accepted, then the paperwork and checks can begin to make sure that you are a suitable tenant. It will involve providing proof of income, a reference from previous landlords, checking your credit score, and various other factors.
- What If I Have A Poor Credit Rating?
It is always a good idea to check your credit score and take steps to improve your rating before renting if possible. If you have a poor score, it could impact your ability to lease somewhere, but there are always solutions available. It could involve offering a larger security deposit, getting a co-signer and providing a recommendation. You can find out more by reading this article: How To Get An Apartment With Bad Credit (8 Simple Tips).
- Moving In
Before moving all of your stuff in, it is a good idea to take photos of the property, particularly any issues such as cracks or faulty appliances so that you cannot be blamed. You also need to check with the landlord to see what is and what is not allowed in terms of changes to the property as there are likely to be restrictions and any unauthorized changes will result in a deduction from your deposit. If the place is unfurnished and you do not have any furniture, it is worth looking on online boards where you may be able to get items for free.
- Bills & Rent
It goes without saying that you need to pay your rent on time every single month, so it is best to set up a direct debit so that you never forget. Regarding bills, you may find that you could save yourself a tidy sum each month so look into switching provider if possible.
- Being A Good Tenant
During your tenancy, you need to keep in mind that you do not own the property and therefore you need to treat it with respect and be a good tenant. You will, of course, want to make it your home, but you should also be mindful and a good neighbor, especially if you’re going to stay on after the tenancy has ended. It means that it is also a smart idea to strike up a positive relationship with the landlord.
Renting is a good option for many, but it can also be challenging to find the right property, particularly if you have not been through the process before. These tips should ensure that you find a great property within your price range and that you will be a good tenant which will help with extended your stay or securing your next rental.