Becoming a tenant is, for many, a giant step towards independence and having their own place to call home. Whether you’re fresh out of university following your first job offer, or a family looking to start afresh in a new area, renting a property enables you to live somewhere without owning it outright – instead paying an agreed rent to the landlord.
But of course, it’s not always that easy – with some of the details and stipulations of rental agreements making them somewhat overwhelming for first time tenants.
That’s why we’ve created this guide, packed full of tips to help you navigate the process of renting and make sure that your first time experience as a tenant is a positive one.
Tip 1: Have a budget ready
The biggest thing that will impact the kind of property you can rent is your budget – with most landlords and tenancy agreements advertising a monthly rent. It is important to take note of whether the advertised rent includes bills or not, as if it doesn’t then you will need to make room in your budget for additional bills on top of the rental agreement.
Other things to take into account as a first time tenant when it comes to budgeting, include:
- Location and what it means for your commute
- Cost of living in the area you choose – for example, is it cheaper to live outside of the city if you’re on a budget?
- Council tax payments, subscriptions, TV licence, and other charges which may not be included in the rent
- The rental deposit – a standard payment which will be requested at the start of the tenancy and will be returned if the property is in good condition when you leave
Tip 2: Have an idea of what you’re looking for
This doesn’t just mean whether you’re looking for a house or a flat, or two bedrooms or five bedrooms – it also means considering things like whether you want a furnished or unfurnished property, whether you need off-road parking, and whether you need a garden and other amenities. It’s good to be be clear about what you are looking for from the outset, so that your letting agent can help find the best options for you.
Tip 3: Sort out your references
A small detail for most, referencing is a part of the rental process which essentially allows an estate agent or landlord to check that you are who you say you are, and that there isn’t anything that might prevent you from paying your rent on time.
Tip 4: Prepare for viewings
The chances are that as a first time tenant, you will view a number of places before finding one which you like, and which ticks the boxes of what you need from a property. Be prepared for a number of viewings and if possible, work with a letting agent who understands what you’re looking for and can filter the best options for you to save you time.
Tip 5: Check the agreements and insurance before moving in
Once you’ve found a property you love, applied for it, and been accepted, there’s a few more admin tasks you need to do before moving day – namely checking and signing the agreement, and making sure that you have the right insurance in place.
A tenancy agreement is a legally binding contract and will outline everything that’s expected of you and everything you can expect from your landlord.
Looking for a place to call home in and around Newcastle?
Here at Pat Robson & Co, we are one of the leading letting agents in the area, pairing first time and veteran tenants with the landlords and homes that are best suited for them.
Click here to find out more about which properties in our portfolio are available right now.