Renting your first home is a very exciting time, it could be that you have finally moved out of your parent’s home, or maybe you have finished university and need somewhere more professional to live while you begin your career.
It can be quite overwhelming when you first decide to rent a property, and often it can be hard to know just where to start with all the different processes and applications.
Here’s some things that first time renters need to think about before signing up for a property:
Location is Important
When you are looking for a property to rent, it is easy enough to look on a map and pick somewhere, but how do you know this area is going to suit you and be the place you want to live for the next year or so.
Do some research on good places to rent and then make sure you go and visit the area a few times at different times of the day. It might seem lovely at lunchtime on the weekend, but what is it like during the week day rush hour or at night?
The Landlord is Not Your Friend
It is great if you have a nice landlord, as the likelihood is you will need to talk to them from time to time, but it is important to remember that they are not your friend – your relationship is about business.
Make sure all communication you have with your landlord is down in writing, even if it is just their confirmation of when your oven will be fixed. If you ever have any larger issues, it will be good to have a backlog of your communication with them.
It’s Important to Read the Contract
When you get caught up with the excitement of renting for the first time, it is easy to forget that the big chunk of papers you sign are actually legally binding documentation. Alternatively, for those who have been renting for a while, it is easy to assume that all rental contracts are the same, when they aren’t.
If there is anything you don’t understand in the contract, or something you are not sure about, then don’t be afraid to ask. If there are things you want fixing up or repairing in the property, then make sure you get that added into the contract before you sign it too.
It is very easy to look at the monthly cost of renting a property and just decide whether it matches your budget or not, but it is important to remember that the rent you will need to pay is only a small part of your overall monthly costs.
Once you have moved into your property, you will also have to pay council tax, utility bills, insurance and pay for things like food. If you choose an unfurnished property, then try and find some second hand furniture instead of splashing out on brand new furnishings.
Think About Your Roommate
Although it sounds like the perfect solution to live with your best friend or other half, this will be an entirely new situation for both of you, so communicating and being up front with each other is key.
Make sure you both have the same plans and expectation, and decide in advance how you will pay for bills between you, who will be responsible for which chores and how long your future plans for renting are. It is always best to have these things out in the open before signing anything.
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