Ever since I moved out of the family home I’ve been renting property. I’ve had some good experiences and some… learning opportunities. I’ve had a mixture of tenancies and properties from sharing a student let by the sea, to privately renting a flat in Edinburgh and renting through an estate agent. Today I’m sharing some tips and info that I’ve picked up along the way. Hopefully this is beneficial to any of you already renting or considering it.
Finding A Property To Rent
This first thing you need to do is get an idea of the size of property you need, your preferred area and your budget. I reccomend having a look online to see what the going rate is and to familiarise yourself with the market.
Once you have the lay of the land you can start thinking more about the property you hope to find. What are your deal breakers? Do you absolutely need a bath as well as a shower? Are you willing to commute further for a bigger garden? Thank kind of thing.
My starting point when looking for a property is always the big websites and local estate agents. See whats’s on offer, make a short list and book some viewings. Don’t discount a private let though – take a look on gumtree and ask family if they know any landlords. Our current place is privately rented and we’ve landed on our feet with a wonderful landlady.
Getting The House You Want
Finding somewhere you love is only half the battle, actually getting the keys is a whole other thing! In my experience the market moves very very quickly so make sure you’re prepared. This means being armed with references, documents, passports, figuring out where you’ll get the deposit from. If you head off to a viewing on a Friday and fall in love with the property the chances are, whilst you sort all your documents over the weekend, someone will have submitted theirs already and be picking the keys up on Monday.
Signing Your Tenancy Agreement
I know I said before that time is of the essence but there is one part of the process where it pays to take a second. When you receive your tenancy agreement to sign make sure you take time to review it carefully. Do you research and be sure you understand all the clauses. Don’t be afraid to ask someone else to cast their eye over it, particularly if you’re a first time tenant.
Insuring Your Possessions
Once you’ve moved in you might be tempted to put your feet up – after all the hideous unpacking of course! You should, however, look in to getting some contents insurance. Insurance and liability is a complicated issue but Homelet have provided me with this infographic below which breaks it down. Definitely cast your eye over it and find out what your landlord is responsible for and what you need to be insuring yourself. In the past contents insurance wasn’t something I bothered with but once I did a rough calculation of the value of our tech plus Luisas’ stuff my eyes were watering! We definitely wouldn’t be in a position to replace all that if something were to happen so I got a policy sorted sharpish!