It is getting increasingly more difficult to get your foot on the property ladder, with house prices rising, and families struggling to afford a deposit. And with the Brexit debacle, there is still financial uncertainty surrounding the housing market. This is why more people are turning to rented accommodation as an affordable alternative to owning your own home.
You might assume that renting is only for students or young couples trying to save up for a deposit, but the truth is that more and more adults are choosing to rent in today’s economy. That includes families with young children and even some people from older generations.
So, if you are looking at rented accommodation options, here are some tips to get the best out of your search.
1. Check Your Finances
Although renting is significantly cheaper than buying, you will still need to check that your finances are in order. When you live in rented accommodation, you have to pay rent every month, so make sure you can stay on top of your bill payments. You will also have to pay additional costs, like gas, electricity, internet, council tax and a TV license.
When you pay a tenancy deposit for rented accommodation, it needs to total up to five weeks’ worth of rent.
2. Find a Reputable Letting Agent
When you start searching for potential properties, you want to be picky with your letting agency. Therefore, you shouldn’t go for the first one you see; conduct some research, read reviews and then decide which letting agent you want to work with. Phoenix Lettings are a dependable letting agent that will prioritise your needs and provide you with all the appropriate tenancy information. You want an agent that has your best interests at heart, so don’t settle.
3. Prioritise Needs, Not Wants
As much as well all fantasise about our dream home, we have to return to reality eventually. When you are looking for a property to rent, try not to get carried away with all your wants because, realistically, you won’t find somewhere that ticks all your boxes.
Try to differentiate between your needs and your wants; for instance, you might want an extra bedroom that can be turned into a home office, but is this actually going to be of use? Similarly, you might want a property that has great views, a spacious kitchen, allows pets, etc. Remember to focus on what you need, i.e., practical aspects, such as a walk-in shower, car parking space, or a dishwasher.
4. Location, Location, Location
Location is an essential part of your home, and you need to check this first before agreeing to anything. If you have kids, is the property close enough to their schools? Will you have a long commute to work? Is it near any shops, parks, pubs or attractions? Or – something that puts off a lot of tenants – is it on a busy road? Really imagine yourself living in that areaand decide if it is worth it.
5. Ask Lots of Questions!
Never be afraid to ask your letting agent questions, even if you think they’re dumb. Just because renting is cheaper than buying, it doesn’t make it any less of an investment. You want to make sure you get the best out of your venture, and your letting agent is there to help you. If you have any concerns about your potential property or the surrounding area, don’t keep them bottled up: ask!