Renting for the First Time? Read On

October, 2022

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Renting for the First Time? Read On
Are you new to renting? Going it alone? Or spreading your wings? Then this blog is for you. When it comes to renting your first home, it isn’t as simple as just moving in and unpacking; there’s a lot you need to know and be aware of. 
In this 5-minute read, we will teach you all you need to know when signing on the dotted line.

What is your budget?

Have you sat down and planned your finances? Do you know how much you can afford every month? Have you saved or a deposit?
In most cases it isn’t just rent you pay; you’ll also have to budget for gas and electric, as well as council tax (unless they’re included in the rent), food, TV, Broadband and Travel, the list goes on. MoneyHelper from has a great tool to help you estimate costs and budget efficiently here.

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Where are you searching? 
If you’ve an idea of the area in which you want to live, research the types and rental costs of available properties. Think about whether you want to split cost with others by moving into a flat share or HMO, or whether you want a place just for you. Check out property portals for details of what is currently on the market (Beware of Online Scams! More information from our previous blog can be found here)
Be ready to move quickly once you’ve found your ideal property, as the rental market is very competitive and in demand properties do not hang about for long. It is against the law for anyone to request a referencing fee, or any fee from you. You will be required to pay a ‘holding deposit’ equal to no more than one weeks rent, which is returned to you at the commencement of your tenancy agreement. (*Conditions may apply)
You’re letting agent or landlord must provide you with a copy of the Gov ‘How to Rent’ guide which you can download here.
Understanding a tenancy agreement 
Once you’ve found a place to call your own, you will need to sign a tenancy agreement. This document will detail your rights and responsibilities as a tenant as well as your landlord’s responsibilities towards the property and most importantly to you. The tenancy agreement should also include notice periods, deposit, and rental amounts as well as the term. It is important to keep a copy of the document saved securely throughout the duration of your tenancy.
Your deposit must be held in a tenancy deposit scheme, which means it’s protected. The landlord or agent by law must provide you with a document called ‘Prescribed Information’ this details your deposit, where it’s held and how/when it will be returned to you should there be no disputes around the property’s condition.

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Moving in
Before you start unpacking, you should be provided with an inventory. This will highlight the condition of the property and any furniture or fittings included. Pay close attention to this document, read through it thoroughly and notify your agent/landlord if there are any discrepancies. Sign it and keep until you leave.
The smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors will have been tested prior to your arrival. This is a legal requirement. Check that there are working yourself too, you will be responsible for the ongoing testing, if they are faulty, report in to your landlord straight away. Make sure you know the location of any fire exits and are familiar with any safety points.
Landlord details 
The tenancy agreement will contain your landlord’s contact details. It is their duty to keep the property in a habitable condition, for example, if the oven or boiler stop working or the toilet leaks. However, if a lightbulb goes, that’s on you. Similarly, if you cause any damage during the tenancy, you will have to sort it out at your expense.
If you’re searching for your first rental, the team at Arlington Park will be happy to help. Contact us today.

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