Top Tips for Tenants

Moving into a new home as a tenant can and should be a joyous occasion. It shouldn’t be scary – but knowing what you want and knowing what you should ask and look for could mean the difference between a nice experience and a nasty experience. Of course having a strong and positive relationship with your agent or landlord will also be a very deciding factor in whether the whole experience is going to be good or not.

Here are our top tips to make it a nice experience with Foskett and Rodgers Ltd.

Know what you are looking for and whom you are going to be living with. Some of the things you might want to think about are:

  • Where would you like to live?
  • Is the area affordable for you?
  • Might it be easier and cheaper to share?
  • How long do you want to rent for?
  • Have you enough money to move immediately?
  • Would a finished property be better for you?

Be realistic about what you can afford. It isn’t only the rent that you need to consider. Some of the things you will also need to budget for are:

  • Council tax (usually you can apply for a 25% discount if you live alone)
  • Utilities – gas, electricity and water
  • Food and drink
  • Internet and phones
  • Travel and transport

You can download our budgeting form to make an accurate assessment.

Know how much it will cost you to move in. It is law now that agents publish their fees on their website so you should have a very accurate idea from looking at your agent’s website how much you will need to move in. Don’t forget that you will also need in addition:

  • At least 5 weeks deposit
  • A month’s rent in advance
  • Removal cost

You also need to know how much you need to earn to get past the referencing. If you multiply the rent by 30 this will be the amount of money you need to earn to pass the reference. For example if you want to rent a property at £950 per calendar month you will have to earn £28,500 or jointly if sharing. You must declare if you have any County Court Judgements (CCJ).

Ask what is included in the house. Most landlords will supply white goods (cooker, fridge/freezer, washing machine) but not all do so. It is worth knowing what is and what isn’t included – especially if it is furnished with the tenants items when you view. It might also be good to know if there is parking available.

Ask your agent who actually manages the property. Sometimes the agent has been asked only to find a tenant and set the tenancy up. This will mean that the Landlord manages the property. If the Agent manages the property sometimes they will get the simple items repaired quickly without having to ask the Landlords permission.

Arranging viewings. It is advisable to view more than one property so that you can gauge the quality of the area you are looking in. Try to schedule these in advance because if a property is tenanted, your agent will need to negotiate a convenient viewing time. Try to avoid viewings at weekends as that is the busiest time and you might feel time pressured if the agent has multiple viewings that day.

Do not take too long to make up your mind which property you want as you will find that the best ones always go quickly!

Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the house and the area. Some questions you might want to ask:

  • Are pets and/or children accepted?
  • Where are the local schools/shops/leisure centre?
  • Where is the nearest train/bus station?
  • What type of heating is in the property? Check out the EPC
  • Are the neighbours nice?
  • Is there cable available? You should be able to check out on line the speed of the broadband in the area.

Have a really good look around the property. Ask for a second viewing if you think you need it. Look out for damp.

  • Is there a musty smell when you come into the property?
  • Are the windows misted?
  • Are the window sills dry and show no sign of mould?
  • Is the wallpaper peeling?

Keep a record of your viewings. Nothing is more frustrating than knowing you like a property only to find that you can’t remember which agent you viewed it with and which property it was.

You can download our helpful form here to keep things on track.

What our clients say:

Julia was amazing in helping me move back to the Chesham area, going beyondthe norm in helping with relevant contacts with Chiltern District Council and ensuring a smooth transition of paperwork.