When you are ready to rent a property, it may come as a surprise but you have to prepare the same way as if you were to buy it. You have to prepare a checklist with your requirements like location, furnished or unfurnished, bills included or not and of course a budget.
Set up a budget
Setting up a budget is probably the first thing you need to do before you start looking for that dream property. However, remember to always stick to your budget because otherwise the monthly rental may be a little hard to manage if you go over your limit. Your budget should include not only the rental of the property but also other monthly expenses related to it like insurance and council tax, which is usually paid by the tenant but in some cases with all inclusive rentals it might be already included in the rental. Utility bills are also the tenant’s responsibility unless stated otherwise and are also paid monthly. Sometimes, if you live in a block of apartments, you may have to pay service charge for the upkeep of the common areas. When renting, you will be asked to give a deposit, which usually equals to one month’s rent however, some agencies and landlords may require 2 months in advance.
Consider the location
Next thing you need to consider is the location. Remember that prime locations always cost an arm and a leg and you may have to compromise a little on location if you only have a small budget. Try and get a property that is close to local amenities, close to your work, public transport, restaurants, bars, etc. Think whether you are prepared to share with somebody in order to be able to afford a property in prime location.
When you are searching for your rental property, the best bet is to contact local agents and to search online for private landlords. Agencies usually charge you a fee for finding you a property and their properties are always more expensive than the ones rented privately. Sometimes it is better to deal with agents because they know exactly what contract you need to sign in order to protect both you and your landlord.
When you have established all of your requirements and found the agent that would be showing you the properties, you should make sure that they only take you to the places you have requested rather than take you to anything that is available for rent. This way, you will save a lot of time and actually look at the properties you want. Agents can be pushy and would usually try and get you to rent a property that they think is right for you and not the one you want. Explore private landlords by all means because you may have the chance of negotiating the price down a little, which will not happen with letting agencies as they need to make sure they get their fees in full.
Finding a property is time consuming and tiring but if you are prepared it can be quite painless.