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Renting a home

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With the economic downturn, renting a home has become a more popular choice and not just as a short term solution. According to the Office for National Statistics, between 2008 and 2011, the number of those renting privately increased from 10% to 15% and those owning a home decreased from 40% to 35%. If you’re looking to rent a property, what should you be considering?

Location location location

Choosing the right location is just as important with a rental property as it is with buying a home. It needs to be somewhere you want to live and put down roots, regardless of how long you’ll be in that particular property. Make sure that the area suits your needs and consider elements such as the quality of the schools, local amenities and transport links. There’s no point finding the perfect property if it’s miles from any shops. If you’re moving to a new area, make sure that you visit it and have a look around to find the best areas.

Research the market

Once you’ve chosen an area to live in, you need to research the properties available. Don’t just look at one estate agent, as this will give you a limited choice. Use the internet to search the local area and look for other agents and property management companies. It’s also worth looking in the local newspaper or advertising magazines, as this is often where private landlords will promote their available properties. By researching the entire market, you’ll be able to get an idea of the average rental prices to make sure you’re getting a good deal.

Have a proper viewingrenting a home

It’s important to not just look at the cosmetic side of the property, but really give it a good test drive. Don’t feel pressured from the agent to look round quickly and if necessary arrange for a second viewing. You need to take the viewing as seriously as if you were buying the property, as you still need to live there. Make sure that everything’s in working order and check exactly what’s included. The agent is there to help, so ask them any questions you might have. It’s worth considering elements such as insulation, central heating and double glazing, as these can have a large bearing on energy costs.

Set a budget

You need to ensure that you can afford the property and don’t be tempted to overstretch yourself. Consider exactly what you’re looking for and which are the most essential elements of the property. There might be a difference between what you want and what you can actually afford. You need to factor in agents costs and fees, for items such as references and credit checks. It’s a good idea to go for a property slightly under your budget, so that you can easily afford it if the rent was to increase.

Check everything

When you finally get the keys to your new property it can be an extremely exciting time. However, you need to make sure that you don’t miss out important checks. When you first move in, go through the inventory point by point and ensure there are no discrepancies. Look at all the finer details, including the condition of carpets and curtains; otherwise they could cost you dearly when you move out. When you vacate the property your landlord will have to provide proof of the costs if they want to deduct any items from your deposit.

Be a good tenant

One of the benefits of renting a property is that you don’t have to worry about any repair bills or other costs. However, landlords are more likely to go out of their way to help tenants who don’t cause them any problems. It’s important to pay your rent on time and inform your landlord immediately if there are any issues with the property. This way they’re more likely to help you if anything goes wrong.

However long you’re looking to rent a property for, you need to ensure you’re getting a good deal. If you’re comfortable with it and it seems appropriate, it’s also worth trying to reduce the monthly price. By following these tips you can help to reduce the likelihood of anything going wrong.

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About Catherine Stern

About Catherine Stern

Catherine Stern is a freelance writer with a background in marketing and PR. She currently writes web content on a range of subjects, from finance and business to travel and home improvements. As a working single mum of two young boys she understands the pressures that today’s working parents face and the topics they want to read about.

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