The lettings market can be tough if you’re just moving into it. There’s a lot of terminology you’ll have to get to grips with, and warning signs you’ll have to look out for on viewings. But where do you start if you’ve never been in a rented property before? Hopefully, these next three tips will get you started on your letting journey, and give you the boost you need to stand on your own two feet.
1. Research your area
Thoroughly researching where you want to live is essential. A postcode, for example, can make a huge difference in terms of price, from the council tax band you fall into to the rent you pay each month. Make sure you start with a rough idea of where you would like to move to, and consider the price brackets that you could reasonably afford.
You’ll also need to have your priorities narrowed down in terms of proximity to work, nightlife, friends and family and so on. Then it’s best to talk to a well-established lettings agent in your area about your needs and budgets. For example, if you were looking for property lettings in Leeds, Linley & Simpson not only have extensive industry experience, but a network of branches and a large property portfolio. You’d be dealing with an agent that thoroughly understands the market and area.
2. Look out for warning signs
When you start to go to your first viewings, it doesn’t matter whether you want a house in the suburbs or a city centre apartment, the basic principles will be the same. You need to look out for damp in particular, as this can lead to mould which can affect people’s health. Aside from the usual damp spots, look out for patches on ceilings and walls that have been repainted.
Another reason for damp is poor ventilation, so look out for windows that have vents. Things like loose wiring should also be thoroughly checked out, and always make sure you run the taps, showers and flush toilets to check that the plumbing is up to scratch. If you’d like to know more warning signs when viewing properties, click here.
3. Know which questions to ask
Viewing properties to rent can be tricky if you’re unsure of the terminology, but don’t be scared to ask as many questions as you feel is necessary. The main ones you will need to cover are things like: what are the admin fees, what is the deposit, what is the referencing process, and what is the council tax band.
All of these could have huge knock-on effects for your budgeting, as you may not have made allowances for a hefty administration fee. Deposits can also depend on whether there’s any furniture in the property, but vary from agent to agent, so it’s always best to check. After you’ve had all of these questions answered, you’ll be able to sit down and work out whether or not it is a viable option for you.
Do you have any other tips for first-time renters?