First time renter(15 Posts)
Following my marriage break-up, I am in the process of selling up and moving back to my home town. I am going to rent initially (perhaps for a few years) while I sus out where I want to live and what sort of house I want.
I have never rented and need some tips. Are rents negotiable like house prices? Will I be able to paint the walls if I promise faithfully to restore it back? What do I need to know?
Oh dear. I have two children. This does not bode well.
Horrace that's not quite right about your first two points.
Landlords now have to put your money into a deposit scheme and have to hand back your deposit within a certain time frame.
Also depending on where you're renting, rent IS negotiable.
I'm sorry you have had bad experiences Horace, but I have never (in 14 years of renting) had my deposit unreturned, or even any deductions taken from it. We have always used reputable letting agents though.
Rent price is negotiable. We knocked about £30 off ours, I think it was. Always try, they can only say no.
Phew. I was getting despondent about the whole renting decision for a moment. I may rent out my own house if it doesn't sell, so I shall be landlord and tenant. I really need to get myself educated!
We moved into a rented house in jan, LL or EA hasn't bothered us once
Think it all depends on you LL and any agent involved.
Actually good job as DD has been practicing her artwork on most of the walls.our LL agreed to minor decoration obviously in good taste. I took a list of questions and things to check which I found by typing in google " first time renting"
* Forget your deposit when it comes to leaving, there will ALWAYS be a reason for them to keep it.
i have never not had it back in full. Have had to fight for it a few times though
* Rent price is not negotiable
it categorically is
* Decorating depends on LL, but I really wouldn't get your hopes up.
most will say yes, but will ban black anything unreasonable like that
* Take dated pics of everything provided, white goods, flooring etc. focusing on any faults - if there's a crack in the window already then document it or you WILL get the blame.
this is very true
* Some LL are lovely, others are utter tossers, if you get one of the latter, it's best just to get out as quickly as poss.
this is also true. Bit like life really, some people just are tossers, best you can do is aim for the most reputable agency possible
I have often had parts of my deposit withheld (prior to the scheme being introduced) without explanation. Reputable agents. To my knowledge, the only time my own agents have done so on the flat that I rent out (strictly speaking it's DH's) was when there was a considerable amount of clean-up to be done when the tenant left. I have no proof of this, but we never kept the deposit ourselves even before the scheme.
Rent is negotiable, especially these days. In most places there is a glut of properties of certain types (city centre flats being one, family homes not so much). They lose their value very quickly and so rents can often be on a downward trend (prospective buy-to-letters should take note of this as well).
You will be hit with charges you may not be expected with regards to letting. The arrangement fee, the credit check fee, and then the renewal fees. If you like the look of a place it can be worth negotiating a longer contract (potentially with a reduced rent) because it saves both you and the LL money. But the risk is you are then locked in for a longer period.
Oh and my top tip about house hunting - it is never as demoralising and tiring for someone else as it is for you, who just want to find the right place to move to! So definitely take a friend. An extra pair of eyes is well worth it.
I've also always got my deposit back, but your checking in on arrival, the letting agent will want to be in and out in minutes, do not do this, allocate yourself at least 30 minutes, go through everything with them, make a note of the state of repair of everything, every little mark, scratch etc. (Best get your parents to have the DCs for this!). Do'nt allow yourself to be rushed, anything that's already there is something you don't want to be charged for when you leave.
Rent is negotable - do your research for the area.
For decoration, don't assume you can change it, so aim for a place this is in a decent state (or at least nutual colour scheme) before you arrive. If you are planning on only renting for a year or so, then it does'nt really matter if it's not your style, it just has to be OK. I really wouldn't bother painting for just a year.
And after owning, remember, don't attempt to do any repairs yourself even if could do it yourself, get your landlord to send someone round, if anything goes wrong with your DIY you could find yourself with a big bill... the advantage is repairs aren't your responsibility so make the landlord do it.
oh and when you move in, if you find somehting doesn't work properly (like the one of the hotwater taps, or one of the windows doesn't open properly etc) then report it straight away, don't be tempted to put up with it, you want to make it clear it's broken before you've had chance to use it, less likely you'll get the blame. Plus you need to get out of the 'owner' mentality that little niggles can be lived with because they will be expensive to fix, not your problem if they are pricy to fix, get it reported ASAP.
I have rented in London for many years and I would recommend try to get the place managed by the EA rather than the LL. EAs usually have contracts with trades people and will just get things done when required. If you have to rely on the LL to take out repairs you may have to wait for ages. Other option is that you take care of it yourself and then arrange with LL to take it off rent, this is how a friend of mine did it. Definitely worth checking before signing a tenancy agreement how these things will be taken care of.
Most tenancy agreements specify that you are not allowed to change the decor.
I have never gotten my full deposit back from a LL either.
In fact, I probably shouldn't get started on all the problems I've had renting. I'm thoroughly sick of it and currently in the process of buying my first house...
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