Keeping An Open Mind As A Tenant
From budgeting to viewing properties, this guide will give you an idea of what to focus on in the quest for your new rental home.
Zoopla reports that the average tenant in the UK spends around a third of their monthly income on rent, whilst rental costs have increased 2% in the past year. As such a significant portion of wages is going towards renting, it’s important that tenants are happy with the roof over their heads. Lettings accommodation is wide and varied, so it’s important that you spend time looking for the perfect property to suit your current situation. This guide will help you determine what to look for.
Working Out Your Budget
Step one of your home finding process should be to work out what budget you have available to you and the areas and types of accommodation you’ll be able to aim for. There’s no point viewing extravagant homes you’ll be unable to afford, as this will only put a downer on visiting accommodation within your actual price range. Try to stay open-minded though – if your budget is small but you feel you need to live close to the city centre in a three-bed property, you may need to consider either squeezing into a two-bed or moving further out where rental prices might be more affordable for you.
Consider Other Areas
Many tenants find that if they spread their wings just a little bit, this opens up the possibility of living in some fantastic new areas that they wouldn’t have otherwise considered. Look at villages, towns or suburbs that neighbour your preferred location. For example, Brentwood estate agents explain that if you would like to live in Ongar but can’t afford it, consider living in Brentwood which is just twenty minutes away by car and offers fast connections into London.
Register With Estate Agents
Many property searches begin by using sites such as Zoopla or Rightmove. But tenants are missing a trick if they don’t also register with local estate agents in the areas they’re interested in. If agents know that you’re serious about finding accommodation to rent, then they’ll be likely to make you aware of new lettings that are available before they hit the marketplace. Sign up with a few of them, and there’s no harm in calling into the lettings department every couple of days to ask if they’ve taken on any new properties.
Keep an open mind when you’re viewing properties. If the home is currently occupied, try to see beyond their personal taste in soft furnishings, and concentrate on what’s important. Do you need garden space? What are the neighbours like? How fast is the broadband connection here if you work from home regularly? Ask lots of questions to the lettings agent – if they’re unsure of the answer, they’ll be able to make a note and ask the landlord for confirmation.
Make An Offer
If you like a property, then it’s important to make an offer as soon as you’ve made your mind up. Hot rental properties won’t stay on the market for long, but there’s always room for a little negotiation if you believe you’re in a position to make a deal. You might suggest paying a lower rent but committing to a longer rental contract for example. However, it’s generally advised to stay as near to the asking price as possible, to demonstrate that you’re serious about the property.
Now that you have a clear idea of how to find the perfect rental property, it’s time to get started. Keep an open mind and try not to get too attached to anywhere until you’ve signed a contract and received the keys to your new rental home.