Talk

Advanced search

Renting a house - when to look?

(11 Posts)
Mendi Mon 20-May-13 17:25:53

If you wanted to move in August, when would you start looking at rental properties?

RenterNomad Mon 20-May-13 19:04:11

Keep an eye on things now, as it will be to your advantage to know if something has been available for a while (you should be able to negotiate).

Generally a month in advance is a useful period, but don't tell the letting agents that, or they will try to turn the screws. If you can, pretend you will be giving notice, which will be 1 month for a statutory periodic tenancy, so you won't appear desperate.

Sorry to be so cynical, but tenants who've been given notice can be very vulnerable when moving. There's no penalty for LLs/agents deciding not to sign a contract, while a prospective tenant can lose his/her holding deposit.

Mendi Mon 20-May-13 19:36:22

I don't understand what you're saying about losing the deposit. To make things clearer, I'm going to be selling my house and going into rented.

I've never rented commercially before (only from a friend) so don't know about deposits and stuff. Are you saying that it's possible I could sign a rental contract, pay the deposit, and then the landlord decides not to rent AND I don't get the deposit back? How the hell does that work?

specialsubject Mon 20-May-13 20:32:00

shouldn't happen with a reputable agency. The hard bit is finding one. Look for one that belongs to a suitable association (ARLA etc) so you have some comeback.

any shyster can set up as a letting agent so there are cowboys out there.

your landlord is legally obliged to do at least two things:
a) protect your deposit in one of the approved schemes
b) give you a current gas safety certificate if the property has gas appliances, and renew it every year.

landlords who hedge on these or don't know about them should be avoided. You need to educate yourself on how rental works.

most landlords, like most tenants, are good honest people.

LIZS Mon 20-May-13 20:34:53

You might want to look at last week's report on Watchdog so you know the new regulations which should apply and scams.

Mendi Mon 20-May-13 22:03:43

Thanks, I'll look for that Watchdog. I had just assumed that if the letting agent is a well known estate agent, it would all be above board and ok. Is that not the case then?

RenterNomad Tue 21-May-13 12:58:26

I was talking about "holding" deposits, sometimes bundled up with referencing fees. The holding bit is meant to be a downpayment on rent/ deposit (the deposit held against damage, that is).

The trouble with the holding deposit is that if you step away (e.g. the letting agents/ landlords are dragging their feet and another, better offer comes up for you, for example rent-, location-or time-wise- you've run out of time to move), you won't get it refunded. There's no bond on the other side, so if the LL decides not to let, they lose nothing.

You may think "this wouldn't happen" to you, but we once had this happen, and once were in danger of it, over 3-bed Victorian houses, with rent of £1,000+ p.c.m. - not exactly a vulnerable demographic! The letting agents in the first case were horrified, but still kept the "referencing" portion of our "holding deposit". hmm

Just make sure you're renting in an area with plenty of competition. smile

HormonalHousewife Tue 21-May-13 13:31:31

I'd be looking now definitely.

Do you have pets you need to take with you 'cos that can throw up a whole set of other problems.

References can take a little while to come through.

We were looking to pay 2.5K a month and the letting agent let us down at the 11th hour saying that their client now didnt want to leave their home confused And this was a big player attached to the big EA in the area. We got the deposit back but that wasnt the problem we needed somewhere to live !

Mendi Tue 21-May-13 14:53:11

Right ok that makes things clearer and explains the 'no referencing fees on this property!' you sometimes see on Rightmove.

I will start looking. How long would you normally expect it to be between the renter making an offer and actually moving in?

Also, if a house is marketed for £2k a month rent, what would you expect to pay? Is it like buying where you always expect a discount, or is it more or less you pay the asking price? Will be renting in Surrey in what I imagine is a competitive (i.e. landlord-friendly) market, though there are a few properties that have been hanging around 2-3 months, some empty (presumably for a reason) so I would have thought more likely to be negotiable.

specialsubject Tue 21-May-13 14:57:20

you don't always get a discount - but you might.

if there is competition for the property, it may end up being rented for more than the asking price. If it has been empty for a while, it may end up going for less. Been there with both - on the same house!

just depends on the situation.

RenterNomad Tue 21-May-13 15:15:24

You could be in a week after saying you'll take it. It just depends how quickly the referencing process goes and how long it takes to draw up a contract.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now