You have finally decided to fly the nest, leave the safety of your parents’ home and move into your first rented property.
This can be a very exciting time, but also quite daunting. It is likely to be the first time you’ll ever have had to pay your own bills, shop for your own food and keep an entire property clean!
You will definitely need to budget, and will consequently have far less spare cash floating around than you are used to. You may also need to source some furniture and other household items.
There are so many things to consider and it is easy to overlook some of the less obvious ones – luckily we are here to help with our top tips for first time renters:
First Time Renter Tips
Your landlord is responsible for insuring the property itself, but you will need to purchase your own contents cover. Even if your property is furnished you will likely have a TV and a laptop or tablet of your own, plus other personal belongings that you should insure.
This is simple enough if you are living alone as you just need to hit the comparison sites like comparethemarket.com and find the best deal.
It can be a bit trickier if you are living in a shared house though, so double check any policies that you are offered and always let them know that it’s a shared house to avoid your insurance becoming invalid.
Your Tenancy Deposit
Your landlord must, by law, put your tenancy deposit into a government approved deposit protection scheme.
Check if your deposit is protected and request your deposit certificate if it hasn’t already been issued to you.
Also check your contract for the exact conditions of your deposit being returned to you. It may request a deep clean of the property, or that any picture hooks must be removed and filled in. Knowing what will be expected of you (and what won’t be) will help you to prepare for the future better.
Check the Inventory
Make sure you check the inventory carefully and add comments or further photos if necessary. Especially note any areas of concern and raise them immediately with your landlord so they can be added to the inventory report.
This will help you avoid any issues at the end of the tenancy, if you get accused of causing damage that was already present when you got there.
Furnish According to Your Means
You don’t have to go out buying brand new furnishings to get a stylish pad these days. ‘Upcycling’ is definitely a thing and it’s highly likely you’ll be on a budget – so make the most of charity shops, Facebook Marketplace and other selling sites. Websites such as Freecycle will also have free stuff that you can source for your house.
It’s not worth overstretching your finances in the beginning, and don’t forget that once your house is all kitted out, you can slowly start replacing things with newer items as and when you can afford to.
Shop Around for Utilities
You could save money on your gas and / or electricity by shopping around for the best deal. It’s really easy to switch supplier and most of the comparison websites allow you to switch right through the site, with just a few button clicks.
Boost Your Credit Score
You can boost your credit score by reporting rent paid through one of the main credit reporting agencies. You must ensure to pay on time though if you do intend to get a mortgage or a car on finance one day – just one late payment could scupper your plans.
Remember also that paying your rent on time each month doesn’t automatically boost your score for some agencies, so try to build credit in other ways too.
Leave the Property as You Found It
Make sure that you repair any damage that you have caused whilst living in the property and ensure that nothing is missing or broken. Once everything is moved out, you can go in and give the place a thorough clean to ensure that you leave it spick and span.
It is your responsibility to leave the property in the same condition and at the same standard of cleanliness as when you moved in.
Take time stamped pictures of all areas, in case you need to prove what condition you left the house in. If you feel that your deposit is being withheld unfairly then it is worth fighting for, and the more evidence you have to back yourself up, the better.
And finally…..good luck branching out on your own – we hope you found our tips useful!
- Lawful and Unlawful Discrimination – Tenants & Landlords
- Getting the Most Out Of Your Viewings
- Repairs: A Guide for Landlord & Tenants
- Noisy Neighbours Tenant Advice
- Horizon Lets Top 10 Tips for Fire Safety