So you’ve made the decision to rent a property. You’re probably thinking – what now, who, where and how? Yes, finding and securing a place to rent comes with working through a number of lifestyle considerations before you view properties. But this process doesn’t have to be a confusing exercise if you know where to start.
See below a handy Q&A checklist to provide you with a clearer idea of what the rental property of your dreams looks like. Perhaps even grab a drink and emulate the Friday night pub-quiz – soft drink or tipple of choice – to take the edge off that little bit more.
Safety and Efficiency Checks
Let’s get the boring stuff out the way first shall we? It’s every tenant’s nightmare to move into somewhere new and find signs of damp or mould, appliances failing or plug sockets faltering – reminiscent of student days anyone? When renting with Rickman Properties, you won’t have to worry about any of that. We carry out diligent safety and efficiency checks on all our properties, providing you with the relevant safety certificates and test check records to keep any worries at bay. We’ll provide you with an Energy Efficiency Rating and Environmental Impact Rating for all prospective properties too.
Firstly, who would you like to live with?
If you’re set on living alone – hop and skip to the next section of the checklist.
If with a partner, congratulations! Always be honest with yourself about the stability of the relationship so as to inhibit either one facing 100% of monthly costs if one moves out during the rental’s fixed period. Also consider how much space each person needs: Is one a fashionista in need of ample wardrobe space? Might you need an extra bedroom for that frequently visiting sister? Is hoarding a lifetime of possessions your partner’s trait so sufficient storage space is a must? Working through these considerations will inhibit property-based arguments once moved in.
Or, are you thinking of moving in with friends in a house-share arrangement? If so, consider whether you can trust them to take care of the property so as to secure your deposit in the future. Also imagine whether your everyday lifestyles will work together, such as your levels of sociability and cleanliness. If you’re an early bird, living with a night-owl might lead to friction in your friendship after a while so choose wisely! Consider property size too – what is everyone’s bedroom size expectations and how many bathrooms will be adequate?
What’s your budget?
Whether living alone or with others, all parties involved must consider whether their long-term financial situations will cover the initial deposit, monthly rent and bills, and sundry expenses. The UK government recommends assigning around 35% of your take-home pay for the rent so engage in a thorough review of average monthly income and expenses, especially if self-employed or a contract worker. Hire a financial adviser if you’re ever unsure.
Ensure all prospective housemates have the same price range and agree upon a fixed bill and rent share first. We recommend writing a contract between yourselves to ensure each individual is committed to pulling their weight. Also collectively ponder the possibility of a housemate not being able to maintain all rental-related payments during the fixed period and what you will do in response so there are no surprises down the road.
Length of Tenancy
Are you looking for long-term stability or rent flexibility? If you have children or a stable long-term job, consider signing a contract with a lengthier fixed period to inhibit lifestyle disruptions. If you’re a young individual whose lifestyle may change in the near future, consider signing a contract with a shorter fixed period to give your future-self some wiggle room.
In terms of location, it doesn’t get much better than the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in our eyes. We have an outstanding selection of rental properties ripe for the picking! Once you’re finished up here, check out our 2-part blog series giving you the low-down on our local area.
In terms of the right outdoor property spec, consider the following.
If you drive, does your rental property have on-street or private parking provisions? If on-street, do you require a parking permit and if so, what is the charge?
Do you desire an outside space? If so, private or shared? If private, what are your duties of care: if you are green-fingered, are you allowed to garden until your heart’s content and if not, will you be provided with a gardener?
Furnished or unfurnished? Furnished is easier if you’re living with housemates and don’t want to commit to buying furniture together. Unfurnished is a better fit if you want to make your new home feel like your own or you already own furniture.
Washer and dryer? For most people nowadays, this is a must and is usually a given in properties. Always check to be sure.
Shower and/or bath? Are you happy living without long soaks in the tub or is this a must? How do you feel about a combined shower and bath, or do you desire separate provisions?
When renting, ensure you’re wised up on any tenancy rules. This could range from restrictions on housing children, keeping pets, or smoking. This is obviously a non-exhaustive list so read the fine-print carefully. We’ll always be on hand to help you through this and will always avert you away from properties with rules not fit to your lifestyle.
At Rickman Properties, we’re always on hand to answer any of your rental queries no matter how big or small. If you’ve got an eye on any of our properties, don’t hesitate to call us to arrange a viewing appointment or to have a chat about property specifics. Call us on 0207 937 9777.