Avoid the pitfalls of Renting. Tips for Tenants

Many of us struggle to get a foot on the property ladder, and have little choice but to rent or live with parents while working. Living with parents can definitely help you save money on bills but may also mean you sacrificing a level of independence.

You can still save a fair share of your income while renting, if done cheaply and safely. Here are a few tips to avoid the pitfalls and rip-offs:

 

1. Location, Location, Location

Make sure to check out a few places before signing a lease. Search for properties using sites such as Rightmove and Zoopla.

Find a property that’s close to your job in order to save on commuting costs.

Consider living with flatmates to keep bills down

2. This stuff is FREE

If you’ve gone for an unfurnished rental, you can grab top-quality furniture for free.

It’s all about web communities and the big names are Freecycle and Freegle

3. Switch your energy

You could save £s by switching your energy supplier. You don’t need to own the property to do it.

Even if your tenancy agreement says you can’t switch, the energy regulator Ofgem mentions that you shouldn’t be prevented from doing so. The exception is if you pay via landlord for any bills.

4. Is your deposit protected?

Your landlord should protect your deposit in one of the government-approved tenancy deposit protection schemes: Deposit Protection Service, mydeposits, Tenancy Deposit Scheme

Each scheme offers a dispute resolution service, which tenants and landlords can follow to sort out deposit disagreements. 

5. Tricks to help ensure you get your deposit back

Check your contract

Fix any damages

Ensure nothing’s missing or broken

Take photos as proof

6. The devil is in the detail

Make sure you’re clear about what kind of tenancy agreement you’re signing. If all the people living in the property sign one agreement with the landlord when you move in, that’s a joint tenancy – you are all equally responsible for paying rent and keeping to the terms of your agreement. If each of you signs a separate one, then you have separate tenancies.

Check the agreement includes all the relevant info, such as what the rent covers like bills, whether you can leave before the end of the tenancy and how much notice you have to give. Also watch out for those tenancy renewal and late payment fees.

 

 

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