One of the biggest advantages of renting a home over owning one is that you are not responsible for any repair or maintenance bills. While renting, your property owner is accountable for repairing appliances that stop working or fixing the leaking roof, and you have no financial obligation to contribute to these jobs. This might explain why the number of UK renters has more than doubled in the last two decades.
However, many people have found out (the hard way) that the rental market is quite competitive and finding your dream home can be difficult if you are not prepared. Whether you are new to rentals or re-considering your living situation, looking for a rental home can also be time-consuming. Many UK residents rent, and while many are just stepping into the adult world, many of them are seniors, empty nesters, or have families.
Fortunately, the UK market brings you rentals for all types of budgets and households. However, make your search smarter using the five tips below.
- Determine How Much Home You Can Afford
Before you start hunting for a home, write up a budget and carefully look at the different ways you spend. The general recommendation is that you should not be spending more than 30 per cent of your earnings on accommodation costs. These costs include commuting, grocery costs, debt, savings as well as any other household expenditure.
Some property owners specify income limits – such as that your annual income is a multiple of your monthly rent or that the rent should not exceed some per cent. Apart from rent, you need to take into account utility costs, cable, Internet, and other extras like parking. This is in addition to moving and furnishing fees and costs towards making your new home livable.
- Consider Your Actual Requirements
Do you live alone or have a large family with small children? No matter your current living situation, everyone has different requirements and is on the lookout for specifics that complement their lifestyle. While determining your budget, you should also take into consideration aspects that are critical to you so you have an idea of what you are looking for. When you are spending all your time drying clothes in a flat you’ll soon realise whether you have enough space or no!
While it is possible to get the perfect location and size, the house may be beyond your budget. Therefore, you need to have a realistic and flexible vision of what is best for you. Regardless of your priorities, taking the time to draft a wish list helps you make the right rental choice.
- Choose Your Ideal Rental Type
Choosing a rental type largely depends on the length of your lease as well as the how big of a place you want. Depending on your requirements and market, you have the choice of renting various home types from different property owners. If looking for a rental of six months or less, a sublet will do, while 12 months or more rentals are widely available at options like The Urban Avenue.
- Start Preparing Early
Unlike purchasing a home, renting one is a speedy process, which is why you should prepare early for that time your dream house is available. Part of preparation includes doing homework on the area you want to rent in regards to proximity to public transportation, parking, crime rate, and growth rate. Furthermore, it takes a few days to be approved for renting, and you do not want to lose your ideal rental property just because you could not find your former property owner for a reference.
In addition, always get your documentation prepared in advance before your offer is accepted. Some of the documentation includes your ID, proof of address, three months worth of bank statements, and employer references. Make sure that you have all documentation ready and you are available to receive calls from real estate agents before time.
- Prepare Finances
If you are moving with your spouse, this is the best time to have the all-important money talk. Get on the same page in terms of finances is a critical step. No matter how uncomfortable this may be, this temporary inconvenience may save you from a ton of stress down the road.
Renting a home is no simple task. Whether you are an expert or new to renting, consider the five things above to ease moving to your new digs.