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Renting Tips

Renting tips
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Home ownership is at its lowest level since 1987, private rentals are now more common than living in a council or housing association property. If you rent your home, here are some tips to make sure your family are safe and you’re getting the most for your money.

Inspect the property

Just because a property looks great on the surface, doesn’t mean there aren’t problems lying underneath. Check for things like damp, dry rot and plumbing problems. If white goods are included in the rental, make sure they are in good working order. It’s also worth checking mobile phone signals and that you’ll be able to get your preferred television and broadband provider.

Ask questions

Don’t be afraid to ask the landlord or letting agent plenty of questions. Ask how long the property has been up for rent, who lives next door and what’s included in the price? It’s important to find out if there are any hidden fees? For example; extra fees maybe charged if you have a pet. Ask where the stopcock is and how to work the heating – a good landlord will be happy to show you.

Switch energy provider

If you are responsible for covering your own bills then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to switch energy provider. Shop around to get the best deal available to you. You can still change supplier if you have a prepaid meter, you should get permission from the landlord before having any meters changed.

Landlords shouldn’t enter without your consent

Your landlord will probably need access to your home from time to timeRenting tips, either to carry out repairs or do an inspection of the property. However, he can’t just walk in whenever he feels like it. Landlords should offer at least 24 hours notice before appearing, your tenancy agreement may state a different notice period. He should also knock before entering. If you are having problems with your landlord turning up out of the blue and coming into your home without your consent, you can get help and advice from a solicitor. If you feel threatened then report it to the police.

Don’t redecorate without permission

While it’s nice to put your own stamp on a new home, you may end up having to pay to return it to it’s original state. Get written permission from your landlord before you start stripping walls. Many landlords will be happy for you to pay to redecorate the property but it often depends on the style and whether the new décor will be appealing to future tenants. If you have a short-term lease then it may not be worthwhile spending the time and money redecorating, only to have to change it all back before you leave.

Get your landlord to pay for repairs

In most cases, the landlord will be responsible for repairs to the property. Check your tenancy agreement for what is included. If the heating breaks down or tiles start falling off the roof, your landlord should be your first port of call. He may be happy to reimburse you for repairs but he may have his own suppliers that he prefers to use. It’s your landlord’s responsibility to ensure all the electrics and wiring is safe so problems should always be referred to your landlord.

Make sure your deposit is returned

To ensure you get the full amount of your deposit back at the end of your tenancy you have to make sure you leave the property as you found it. When you move all your possession’s out, give the place a deep clean and repair any damage that may have been caused during your tenancy. Check the inventory and your agreement to ensure everything is as it should be. Take photos to prove that you are leaving the property the way you found it.

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About Maria Brett

About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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