What to Think About Before Renting Your First Property

Collaborative post

As you may have already seen, I have recently bought my own house after a huge life change last year but I’m very aware that buying isn’t for everyone. For one reason or another, whether it’s that you haven’t quite saved enough for a full deposit, you want to trial living with someone or that you just don’t want to buy a house; ultimately you might choose to rent. But just like with buying a house there are lots of things that you’re going to want to consider when renting your first house.


Shop around and make sure you love it!

Almost all rental properties have a minimum term for renting; they usually start at 6 months so make sure that the property you rent is definitely the one for you because you’ll be paying for it for at least that minimum rental period. Don’t just jump straight into the first one you see, no matter how perfect you think it is because you need a basis for comparison. Try and fit your viewings into a fairly short space of time so you don’t miss out on the one you do like but do have a look at a few.

Check the terms and conditions

Before you sign anything, make sure you know the rules that your landlord would impose and what is included in the rental price. You need to ask whether any furniture or appliances are included, whether you are allowed to paint or wallpaper or indeed make any changes to the house at all and what procedures are if something goes wrong.

Take an inventory

So once you’ve decided on your perfect house, before you get too excited and sign on the dotted line make sure you got through the house with a fine-toothed comb. Don’t forget to check that some of the less obvious areas are in good repair, especially the outdoor areas. Gutters can often cause issues that are unseen so ensure these have been cleaned professionally by a company such as Gutter Cleaning Knoxville to ensure the job is done properly. Ask the landlord or agent to allow you plenty of time to do this so you can identify anything that you would like rectifying before you move in – the carpets might not be in very good condition, the paintwork might need freshening up etc. etc. Make sure you know what you are getting before you sign anything because most properties are ‘let as seen’ which means that they may reserve the right to refuse to touch up paintwork or change things like carpets once you’ve signed the agreement.


Check details and terms of the bond/deposit
Make sure you know how much deposit you will be expected to put down and enquire about the terms of that deposit (ie. In which situations would you lose part or all of your deposit). It is also worth making sure the deposit is protected (by law if you are in an ‘assured shorthold tenancy, which you entered into before 6 April 2007, your deposit must be put into a protection scheme within 30 days of receiving it).

Get insurance!

Although your landlord or agent should have arranged adequate buildings insurance for the property, it is usually your responsibility to arrange contents and liability insurance for the time you’re renting. To cover your personal property and liability as a tenant you will need to take out separate insurance; you can either do this through someone like HomeLet who will provide up to £50,000 of cover for your contents so things like gadgets, clothes and appliances are protected against fire, theft and flood. The liability cover would protect you if you accidentally damage the property, which would result in you normally having to pay for the repairs.

Check the overall costs

So you rent sounds reasonable and you can easily afford it; but have you considered the price of your utilities, council tax and other monthly costs like broadband, mobile phone bill etc. You really need to make sure you've got all the facts before you enter into any contract. Generally with a quick google search you can get approximate figures for bills depending on the size of the house/flat and how many people are living in it but just make sure you don't get caught short!

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