5 tips for first-time renters

New home
7:30am, Mon 19 Jul 2021
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Renting your own home for the first time can be an exciting experience. But for first-time renters, there can be stresses and pitfalls to avoid.

Here are some tips from Tahir Farooqui, CEO of private rental platform Canopy, to help new renters avoid potential problems and enjoy their new home…

1. Read the small print

Many of us have skipped the terms and conditions when filling out online forms to access a website or enter a competition. Doing this with your tenancy agreement, however, would be incredibly ill-advised. Within this contract, you’ll find certain conditions for living in the property, and if you leave yourself unaware of them you could be jeopardising your security deposit.

2. Take photos

It is very easy to get lost in the excitement of move-in day, frantically unpacking and organising everything to make your new house feel like a home.

This makes it easy to miss any small stains or minor damage already in the property, which can be a real sting when it comes to the end of your tenancy. To limit the hassle in getting your deposit back, take photos and highlight anything you feel may cause an issue for your later down the line.

3. Bills, bills and more bills

Housemates reading a contract

While some properties include bills in the rental price, many will not. Be certain you know absolutely everything you need to be paying out every month. Your agent may be able to give you a ball park figure of how much you should expect to spend on council tax, gas, electricity, water and broadband each month. And it is always wise to keep extra money aside – just in case.

4. You may be able to offer a lower fee

The listed per-month price of a property is often seen as the only price it is available for. But sometimes landlords can be open to lowering the rent, particularly if the property has been on the market for a while. It may help if you have a stellar application to back yourself up. Canopy has a ‘rent passport’ service, so people can show their track record.

5. Pay on time

This may sound simple, but some first-time renters may see the due date of the rent as more of a guide. However, late payments can leave you with extra charges, as well as possibly damaging a future reference for another property.

Landlords may be able to change the regular payment date to one that coincides with your payday. But if you’ve asked and they can’t, you still need to stick with the date provided. You may also be able to boost your credit score by keeping up with your rental payments.

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