Launching my new website prompted me to start writing a few blogs, going forward I hope to have a couple of guest writers who may choose not to write about property at all. I thought I would start by giving some helpful hints to those that want to rent a property.

Budget

Firstly you need to establish your budget – there is no point in going to look at 2 bed flats if all you can afford is a 1 bed flat, especially if you have done your research and are looking in the area that you want to live in.

Research

Spend time walking, looking, shopping, eating drinking in the area you are considering, make sure it is right for you with transport links, buses, trains tubes. Of course if you have friends already living in the area then that is going to make big difference. Looking at different areas may also mean that you do get more for your money and perhaps you could afford a 2 bed flat. It’s good to give yourself some options and be flexible. Use the whole market, which include online agents like myself, as well as the high street estate agents when searching for a property..

Fees

Make sure you are aware of any fees that you are going to be charged for, all good agents will be very transparent and up front with their charges.  Personally I don’t see why any other fees than referencing fees should be charged, after all the agents are being paid by the client.

Make an offer

If you like somewhere, it is always worth making an offer. Depending on market circumstances a reasonable offer maybe accepted, and even £20.00 or £30.00 per month will make a difference.

Contract/Lease

Always take the time to read through this, make sure that you are happy with all the points about rent payment dates, where your deposit is being placed, notice period, what is included. Ensure that you receive your gas safety certificate before you move in.  New laws this month October 2015 now also require that you have received an energy performance certificate and a government guide “How to rent”.

Utilities

Make sure that you register with the companies of your choice quickly and get your standing orders or direct debits set up. It all helps  with building your relationship with your landlord or agent.

Fully Furnished Properties

If you are moving into a fully furnished property, you are very likely to be presented with an inventory; any sensible landlord/agent would do this. Go through it thoroughly and if there is anything that you disagree with let your landlord/agent know straight away.

Report Problems

Report problems as soon as they occur however trivial they may seem. It’s best to try and get problems resolved speedily.