*This post was written in collaboration with Beresfords
(image source: Pexels.com)
When you hit your 20s, the amount of “adulting” you need to do can come as a bit of a shock. I’ll never forget the first time I lived on my own, independent of my parents, and I was utterly shocked at the price of bins. I mean, how can it cost you £50 for somewhere to put your rubbish? It’s such a shame they don’t teach practical advice about buying or renting property in schools because that is so much more helpful to real life than learning what an isosceles triangle is. A lot of people start off their foray into adult responsibility by renting a property, so here are some tips if you are doing this for the first time and are feeling a bit overwhelmed, here are some tips.
Use a reputable estate agent
This one sounds like I am stating the obvious, but it is REALLY important to use a reputable estate agent. If someone tries to get you to privately rent directly from them, you might struggle to get things like repairs done and deposits back in the absence of a formal contract. We have a number of great Essex estate agents in our area, and any time I need to use one recommendations are vital to me. Even if you are in a rush to move out, don’t rush finding your estate agent.
Make sure you know what notice you need to give
Your tenancy will more than likely have a fixed length like 12 months, but there is always the possibility you could leave early. Make sure you read the contract in advance so that you are aware of any charges you may incur trying to leave the property before the end date of your tenancy.
Check the inventory when you move in
Again, the first time I rented a flat, I used a really reputable Essex estate agent. This meant that they gave us a list of all of the furniture etc that was included, which we could check the condition of before we handed over our deposit. Always make sure both you and the estate agent agree on this before you sign the contract.
Save enough to have a buffer
If you are privately renting your landlord should take care of any repairs that need to be done. But all of the other bills are not your landlord’s responsibility. As well as paying your deposit with the estate agent, ensure you have enough for unexpected increases in bills. It is also worth noting that if white goods are included in your tenancy, depending on your contract, your landlord may not be obligated to replace them if they break.
First time renting is all about learning. When we went to see our first flat I was overjoyed it had a huge corner bath. But the hot water came from an immersion heater, so you can imagine how much heating it cost. As a result we never used it. I wouldn’t have thought for a second to check how the water was heated when we were viewing. But now I have learned, this is something I’ll check in future.