Alistair Woodgate of leading St Albans and Watford based chartered surveyors, Rumball Sedgwick, offer a few pointers to the would-be rental market.
Are you thinking about renting this year? If so you’ll be joining a growing sector of the population.
Nearly 40% of households are now renting rather than owning their property. The trend towards renting, acknowledged in a previous Housing White Paper, is predicted to continue, particularly in areas such as ours where property prices remain out of the reach of many.
So, what should you bear in mind? Firstly, decide how much you can reasonably afford to pay in rent allowing for the usual outgoings including Council Tax, fuel, contents insurance, TV and broadband. Most landlords will also require you to put down at least six weeks’ rent as a security deposit. This provides the landlord with potential compensation if you cause any damage, (fair wear and tear excepted). Deposits must be registered with a government approved tenancy deposit scheme to ensure the money is protected. These schemes also provide a dispute resolution service if, at the end of the tenancy, there is disagreement over any amounts charged.
Agents must display a list of all the charges that apply to renting a property so check this at the outset. (In the Autumn Statement it was announced letting agents will be stopped from imposing upfront charges on tenants, but this has yet to be introduced).
Even if the property is being let unfurnished, make sure you have an inventory, with photographs, agreed between you and the landlord. This ensures that at the end of the tenancy you won’t be charged for defects that were in the property when you took it over. And don’t forget to agree the meter readings at the start of the tenancy.
When searching for your ideal home bear in mind that the rental market locally is fast-moving and new instructions can be snapped up in a matter of hours. So, register with letting agents and set up email alerts for properties coming to the market.
If you are looking to rent and want to know what to bear in mind go to our website to read the full article.