Renting a House in the UK: The Ultimate Checklist
The process of buying a house can be confusing, but it doesn’t have to be difficult, as long as you know what questions to ask and what steps to take before signing on the dotted line!
This checklist will help guide you through every step of the process from start to finish so that by the end of this article, you’ll feel confident about making an informed decision about renting a house in the UK.
Collect the Reference Letter
To start with, you’ll need to get a reference from your current employer or another person who is of good standing in the community. It can be an email or written one stating that you make a great tenant. You will need at least three references before your application for an assured shorthold tenancy can be approved.
It is the law that to be granted a tenancy; you will need at least one reference from an employer or previous landlord. If no previous rental history can be found, two further references are required, including one from somebody who knows you well (i.e., not a family member).
Look for The Perfect Property
Now look for the perfect property. Before you start looking, you’ll need to make a list of your priorities and requirements for the house or flat. For example, is it how close it is to work? Would having lots of storage space be useful? Will you need to take pets with you? Once this is done, write down a list of your criteria and try and narrow your search down, using Google Maps to pinpoint particular areas you’d like to live in.
Find the perfect home for rent by checking out available properties before viewing them. You can also ask your friends or family members if they know of any flats or houses currently available for rent. If you have a bit more money to spare, an estate agent will likely be able to find you something that meets your requirements, but be prepared for fees that are usually paid up front.
Go Check It Out
Now it’s time to go viewings! Viewing the house or flat is one of the most essential yet challenging parts of renting a place in the UK. You don’t want to come across as desperate, yet you will need to make a good impression. First impressions are the key!
Here are some top tips on making a great first impression, whether for renting or applying for jobs.
Wear clothes that look smart and presentable. Pay attention to your posture while walking up towards the house/flat if there is a garden on the wall that needs to be scaled. Remember that the person letting you view the property may have spent some time preparing it for your visit to avoid being overly critical of small details.
Before You Confirm
Once you have viewed the property, ask if you will need any other information before signing up. You should also ask for a breakdown of the costs you will bear. For example, you may have to pay a damage deposit or an additional rent cost, but this will all be detailed for you by the landlord or letting agent.
Be wary about signing up for any property without knowing everything about it first – i.e., what the monthly bills are and how much the damage deposit is. A good idea would be to ask someone who has rented a house before as they’ll know exactly what you need to do and expect from your landlord.
After you have found your perfect home, it’s time to make an application for a tenancy agreement. You will require providing personal information such as name, address, and date of birth.
You will also have to pay the tenancy fees, so it’s a good idea to bring some sort of identification with you just in case. All landlords are legally allowed to request references from previous landlords, employers, etc., but they cannot ask for bank statements or credit card details. During the tenancy agreement, a tenant lawyer may help you negotiate the initial rent and bills along with other aspects of the contract.
Completing the Payment
Once the application is accepted, you will be responsible for paying your first rent payment and deposit on top of an admin fee which can be anywhere between £50 – £100 depending on where you live. Some agents will even waive the admin fee as a special promotion if you’re lucky. Be sure to ask!
After you have sorted out all of the legal details, you will usually be given a key to your new property which means that you are now free to move in! Hooray!
Your tenancy agreement is legally binding, so make sure you read it before signing anything. This will ensure both parties agrees on the term and know what is expected.
As you can see, the application procedure for renting in the UK is relatively straightforward. With a bit of research, preparation, and patience, it’s easy to find your perfect home with one of the many rental properties available.