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For most people, renting a home is their first experience of living independently. The experience of looking after a property and managing a budget is an excellent way to prepare before taking on the commitment of a mortgage. While renting may be less of a commitment than buying a home, it is still a significant responsibility. So, it is essential to understand what is involved in renting a property before you sign anything. Taking some time to learn about the renting process should help you avoid potential issues and ensure you have a clear understanding of what is involved. Here are some useful tips to help you prepare for renting your first property and becoming a tenant:
- Decide Where You Want Live
Although renting is often a short-term option compared to buying a home, you will still be entering a tenancy agreement, so it is vital to ensure you are happy with the property you choose. Thinking carefully about the location of your new home is a crucial consideration. It is beneficial to weigh up what you want from a location before you even start looking at rental homes. Do you want to be within walking distance of work, or maybe you want to live in a quiet street away from the centre of town. If you plan to live somewhere for the coming months or even years, ensuring it is in the right location is vital.
- Save for a Deposit
Getting your finances in order before renting a property is vital to ensure your tenancy is accepted. You will usually be required to pay a deposit of five week’s rent before starting your tenancy. It is also crucial to understand what is included in your rental payments before you sign the lease. If bills are not included, you may find renting a property a lot more expensive than you anticipated.
- Understand the Agreement
Renting a property is a contractual agreement, so understanding the agreement you are entering is crucial. You will usually need to sign an assured shorthold tenancy agreement to rent a property, and this will state a fixed term for the tenancy, which is often six or 12 months. Ensuring you are happy with the tenancy term and taking time to read through the agreement carefully is essential before you sign on the dotted line and agree to the terms.
- Know Your Rights
While most people have a positive experience renting a property, unfortunately, sometimes things do not go to plan. Everyone has heard the horror stories of nightmare landlords operating unscrupulously and tenants living in terrible conditions. Hopefully you will never find yourself in this situation, but if you do, help is available. Disrepair Claims are a helpful way to get landlords to make repairs to a property when your previous requests have been ignored. In most cases, landlords are required to comply with the Homes (Fitness for Occupation) Act, so it is helpful to understand your landlord’s legal obligations to ensure you are treated fairly.