Saturday, 4 March 2017

Tips for renting


I’ve been renting for three years now and I’ve had mostly positive experiences since I took the plunge at moving out of my parents. I first got onto the renting market in my second year of university, when my brother and I, and four friends moved into a lovely 6-bed terrace house in the student capital of Leeds. We rented through a private landlord who was the dad of one of my brother’s friends, so we didn’t have to pay a deposit and if we came across any problems, they were solved with a quick phone call and a visit by the landlord. I loved the house and I really didn’t want to move out too!

I moved into a detached house with one of my very close friends who I met from work and her friend in my final year. We had a few problems with my second house and it wasn’t the best experience. Mice, an infestation of flies, mould and broken tiles were just a few of the problems my housemates and I had to put up with and our landlord wasn’t the nicest person either.

Now, in my first year of graduate working life, I’m living in a beautiful flat which I adore. Three years isn't a long period of renting but I like to think I’ve got enough experience to give some decent advice for renting. So here are my tips and advice for renting.


Do your research
It’s best to do your research when you’re deciding where you want to live. Look into how far the area is from work and what amenities are close by. Where we live isn’t far from the city centre, so it’s convenient for us to get to and from work. It’s also in a fairly quiet area too and our flat faces away from the main road so we don’t get any traffic noise in our flat.

Don’t rush into anything
Our flat was the third place we looked at and it’s important to not get carried away and sign for the first place you look at. It might be your dream house, but go into viewings with an open mind and consider other houses that are available. We booked several viewings and some got cancelled and some houses left us feeling a bit deflated, but then one day when we walked past our estate agents we saw our flat advertised. The rest is history!

Have some savings in the pot
Whilst signing on the dotted line for renting doesn’t cost as much upfront as buying a house, it is still expensive. You MIGHT have to apply for an independent reference which is what happened to us. As this is the first non-student house for us, we didn’t know we would have to get a reference and it cost us £200 each. The deposit was one full month and half of a month of the rent price which had to be paid in full. We also had to pay for a van to help move our stuff and we had to pay for other bits and bats for the house on the day we moved. So it’s a good idea to save some money for the upfront costs of renting.


Make a list of problems
Our estate agent gave us a full list of things that were broken or damaged in the flat when we moved in, and it’s useful so when we move out we won’t get charged for any damaged caused by previous residents. There were a few things that weren’t noted down, including a mirror that was broken, so make a note of anything broken or damaged and pass it to your landlord/estate agent. Not only is it useful for making sure you don’t get charged for the damage, but it also means it’ll get fixed for you.

Sort out your bills asap
Aim to sort out your bills and utilities within the first week or two of moving in. We sorted out our internet, council tax and other bills within the first few days of moving in and it meant we didn’t have to stress and worry about sorting them out. Make sure you shop around for your bills too, and use websites such as Money Supermarket and Compare The Market to compare utility prices and make sure you get the best deal for you.
Keep a budget in mind
Keeping a budget in mind is useful for any aspect of moving. We stuck to a maximum amount that we wanted to pay per month and our flat is just under that limit. We also like to have a budget when we do the food shop, so we don’t over spend on things we don’t really need.
Shop around
One of my favourite, and most useful bits of advice, is to shop around. For things such as washing up liquid, tin foil, sponges and cleaning stuff, I always get what is on offer. Wilko is one of my favourite shops and you can get all of the household bits and pieces you need for cheaper than most places. For food shops, we always do them online and we always find a discount code online for some money off.

I really hope you all enjoy my post and if you have any advice that I haven’t mentioned, let me know in the comments!

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