A tenant's guide to renting

So you have decided to rent a property, however, this may be your first time renting. With this in mind, we have created this page to help you understand the process of renting a property.

Check your affordability

First things first, can you afford it? Aside from the upfront costs you will need to secure and rent a property, you will also need to evidence that your income can support the rental amount.

Upfront costs

These have changed in the last few years after the introduction of the Tenant Fees Act 2019. This legislation prevented landlords and agents from charging tenants any fees to rent a property.

There are still some upfront costs that you will need to pay prior to taking up occupation of a property. These are as follows:

  • Holding Deposit (equal to 1 week's rent) - Upon successful referencing this usually forms part of your first months rent.
  • Security Deposit (For all tenancies with an annual rent less than £50,000 the maximum deposit that can be taken is the equivalent of 5 weeks rent. For an annual rent above this, the maximum amount that can be taken is 6 weeks).
  • First Month's Rent - (the remaining balance if you paid a holding deposit).

Monthly Rental Affordability

With regards to how much rent you can afford from an income affordability, this is usually calculated at 2.5 times the rental amount. i.e. if your annual income is £23,000, your monthly rental affordability will be £766.66 per month.

Each letting agent may have a slightly different set of criteria, but will usually follow a similar method. I would advise that when you make contact with an agent once you have identified the property you are interested.

Choosing the right location

Choosing the right neighbourhood is very important when starting your rental search. Usually people don't stray too fair from home when they start out on their own, so usually know the areas around them. However, this isn't always the case. We take a look at a few things you may want to consider:

What's the neighbourhood vibe?

One of the most important aspects when selecting an area. We recommend that you visit the areas you have identified as potential locations during the day and night. This will give you a good idea on what the area can be like throughout all times of the day.

Transport routes

It may not be top of your list when deciding on where to rent. However you never know when you might need to use public transport. Being located near to a bus route could help you should your car need repairing. Or being located within a short walk to work could help you to be greener and cut CO2 emissions and saving you money.

School Catchments

Obviously only relevant if you have kids or are considering having children soon. However, when you do join the partnering crew, this will soon become a very important aspect to your location. You'll want your child to go to the best schools available and these schools usually take their students from inside a catchment area.

Finding the right property