It is very important to consider your requirements before you begin to search for your property. Be very clear about the area that you want to live in, the type you are searching for, which amenities you want to have near and what budget you have available.
- Room, studio, house, flat
- Tenancy period length
- Unfurnished or furnished
- Number of reception rooms, bathrooms, bedrooms
- Off-street parking
Set a budget
Get a manageable budget set up and then stick with it. Rental properties are marketed by letting agents either by stating the monthly rental price or weekly rental price. Try to not be tempted (or allow your agent to tempt you) into searching for properties that are beyond what you can afford comfortably.
Along with your rental costs, other related expenses need to be budgeted for. Those may include:
- House contents insurance: this is something that you need to arrange yourself for all of the personal belongings that are inside of your property
- Council tax: often the tenant is responsible to pay this, so be sure to ask the landlord or agent for the estimated cost of this
- Service charges and utility bills: If the property is either in a serviced apartment or flats, there might be a service charge that you might have to pay, so make sure that you clarify with your landlord or agent whether it is an additional charge or included in the rent. You should also take the cost of bills into consideration – do they have economic electric German heating systems in place? Or could the house be losing heat?
- Deposit: usually the value of one month rent
- Removal costs: make sure you budget for expenses for hiring the removal company
Determine the location
When deciding the location of your property there are numerous factors that need to be taken into consideration. It is very important to prioritise what things are the most important to you when it comes to the location before you start your search since in the long run that will save you time.
Other rental considerations
One advantage of renting a flat or house is the various options that are available in the marketplace. However, a lot of it will depend on the stage of life you are in and your personal circumstances. You may want to consider:
- A flat or house with sole tenancy: a family or person are the only tenants who are in the property.
- A flatshare or house: a couple or a person who might rent a room inside of a property that is occupied by other tenants also, or group of friends might share occupancy and the rent is split between them
- Lodging: rent a room from the private property owners who reside at the property also
- Purpose-built rental accommodation: houses with communal areas, like an onsite gym or concierge desk.
Many rental properties are listed as being unfurnished or furnished. Although the landlord in some cases might be flexible about allowing you to decide which option you want to choose.
- Ensure the agents you are dealing with belong to the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) since their code of practices must be adhered to by agents that are members.
- Contact as many different letting agents as possible within your local area to provide you with the best chances of being able to find properties for you to rent.
After you have located a rental property, be aware that letting agents may charge you a fee for handling administrative work, like checking references. Those administrative costs may range from £25 up to £150 or even more, depending on the location, the property, and the agent. In addition, they might also charge a holding deposit of £50 up to £200 or even more in order to secure the property to hold for you, and then they will deduct it off of your first month’s rent. Do your best to establish what the costs are in advance with the agent before you start your search since they might vary.
Before you view a property, be sure to clarify with the agent to ensure that the flat or house meets your requirements to avoid wasting your time. While you are looking at unsuitable property, then you might be missing out on a property that is right for you.