It is an exciting time moving out of your parents house in to your own place. It’s a big step into adulthood. However, there are lots of things to consider you may not have initially thought about.
We are here to share our top tips from the Arma Karma team for first time renters.
1. View the property in person
Photos can be deceiving, don’t trust everything you find online. Estate agents and landlords want the property to look its best prior to letting. Viewing the property in person means you are able to spot any inconsistencies from the photos online, allows for room size to be judged and for parking availability to be assessed.
2. Assess your finances
You will now be paying monthly rent and bills, before renting your first property make sure you have the finances to do so. To secure the property you will likely have to pay a holding deposit, usually the price of 1 weeks rent. Once the property is secured you will not only have to pay the first months rent but also your deposit, often set at the maximum of 5 weeks rent. Some agents/landlords may give you the option of a zero deposit scheme which generally costs the same as one weeks rent (which you’d never get back), but waives the need to stash any larger amounts away. The first months outgoings will be large, but they’re worth it to rent your first property.
3. Read the tenancy agreement
It sounds simple, but you are signing a contract, you need to read it. Make sure you understand what you are agreeing to and what the landlord is required to do. Your agreement holds all the information required to live at the property such as:
· the address
· the names of the tenants, landlords and estate agents
· the deposit amount
· monthly rent amount
· when payments are due
· what’s expected of you as a tenant through the duration
4. Document EVERYTHING!
An easy way to be caught out at the end of your tenancy is to be charged for damage that was there when you moved in. To avoid this take photos of every room and every small detail you notice as you first walk around the property, including water and electricity meters. These photos will be time and date stamped proving that you didn’t cause the damage you are being charged for.
5. Second hand is a good thing
If your new rental property is unfurnished ask around to see if any of your family and friends have any furniture they are looking to upgrade or sell. You will be surprised how many people want to help you succeed in your first home. If you still aren’t offered items that you need, why not check Facebook Marketplace or pop into a charity shop, you can always upgrade to new furniture once you have settled in and assessed your financial outgoings.
6. Pay on time
It’s a no-brainer, to keep living at the property you need to pay on time. In your tenancy agreement will be the date your monthly rent due, make sure to pay by this date. This goes for your bills too, some bills such as gas and electricity may be paid quarterly, while council tax will be due monthly. To keep track of when payments are due a simple spreadsheet of amounts and due dates will help you in the long run.
7. Get Insured!
Insure your contents with renters insurance! This means that your personal belongings are looked after in the event of a break-in or damage. We at Arma Karma offer a simple renters insurance subscription, insuring the things that you care about, like mobiles, laptops and TVs, for as little as £1.99 per month, saving you hundreds of pounds if you need to replace your item.
If that sounds like something you’d want to keep your stuff safe, start your subscription here, and happy renting!
Arma Karma Limited is registered in England and Wales under company number 12002692.
Arma Karma Limited is an Appointed Representative of Innovative Risk Labs Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Firm reference number 925873.