8 months ago - 13 minute read
No one has time to trawl the internet to find all the rental hacks hidden in the depths of advice columns and company blogs. Instead I want to create:
def: Your go-to guide whether you already have a question you want answered, or you need a sanity check of things to keep in mind.
It’s worth favouriting this page whether you are just about to move or still searching for a property. Our team is continually updating it so you can come back to know more about what is needed. Here we go:
Congratulations on your independence!
Welcome to a world of freedom and living how you want. Let’s kick off with some of the basics to get you started:
It is generally recommended to spend no more than 30% of your income on rent. If you need help creating a budget
If you want a more extensive budget planner?
Here is a thread on what you should consider when renting for the first time
Avoid common renter pitfalls with this checklist from Shelter
Ready to move out of halls or moving for a grad role?
There are a few key differences when making the change from student life to traditional renting.
If you’re moving to a new neighbourhood or are escaping some horror roommates, don’t get caught out.
Here's what you might find helpful:
Landlords or rental agencies may ask for a guarantor if you have no credit history in the UK or are renting for the first time.
A guarantor is a UK resident, over 18 with a good credit history. They are usually parents, family members or good friends who would be able to pay your rent if you were not able to do so.
Note: Landlords or agents cannot charge extra fees for you to provide a credit check or a guarantor agreement.
Finding a property always takes more time than you think.
Let’s take some of the stress off, including the dreaded emails.
At Fronted, we have some great lawyers and litigators who worked up some standard emails for you to use when talking to landlords or estate agents. When searching for a home you can be sending off a lot of emails arranging property viewings or confirming details before making an offer.
Note: There has been an update to the templates with responses after the government announced emergency regulation for COVID-19.
Read more about how announcements will affect renters here.
It's worth noting that whoever manages your property has certain time restrictions in which they need to respond to you.
If you want a more detailed overview of reasonable response times, read this article.
After moving 5 times, I can back up that you want to minimise the hassle of moving multiple times.
Here are the 10 steps you should take to make sure a property is right for you:
It can be high stakes to not miss out on a property you like but it’s not unreasonable to haggle if you feel the property standard does not meet the asking price.
Here’s what you should take into consideration:
If you tend to stumble on your words (like I do), learn more about negotiating here.
Rent is not the only cost per month.
At the start we linked a budget estimator, but here we’ll break down all the fees when you’re a renter and what you’ll need to account for.
There are some fees estate agents can charge and there are some they can’t. Make sure you know this before you send any money to anyone:
The Tenant Fees Act (2019) means that only fees 'permitted' by the Act are allowed. Permitted fees are as follows:
Fees including agency ‘finding fees’ are not permitted.
What if my tenancy contract was signed before the Tenant Fee Act came into place?
Don’t know if your letting fees are legit or not? Comment in our community here and we’ll look into it.
Though we all love our bins being taken away, in some areas council tax is more costly than others and might play into your consideration when moving into an area.
Here’s the quick points:
For those in Scotland find out here
High ceilings are nice but it can make your heating bill unsustainably expensive. You should ask your landlord or agent about all the fixed costs of your new place. Here’s what you’ll need to account for:
When asking about utilities, ask how much the bills are in both summer and winter as depending on where you are in the UK, it can get pretty cold. You can check the average costs of using this Bills HealthCheck from Money Supermarket.
This section is very short compared to the last one, I promise.
A landlord must give you an energy performance certificate (EPC) for the property before your tenancy starts. EPCs are valid for 10 years.
The deposit is one of the largest upfront costs for renters and it's why our team at Fronted's first focus is building a better way to pay your deposit. Let's outline your deposit cost and caps.
Here’s what you need to know about your deposit.
|Total Annual Rent||Less than £50,000||£50,000 or above|
|Your security deposit can be no more than||5 weeks’ rent||6 weeks’ rent|
|Your refundable holding deposit (to reserve a property) is to be no more than||1 weeks' rent||1 weeks' rent|
Your deposit should always be put into one of these three government-backed tenancy deposit scheme providers (TDP):
Make sure you get confirmation from your landlord or letting agent on which one they have deposited into. After confirmation you can check your deposit is protected on the scheme providers' websites.
If you want more information on deposits and the new protections for renters, read more here
Whether you are BYO'ing your furniture or want everything there and ready, here we unpack furnishing terms and give you tips on how to find budget-friendly options.
A property may come:
Depending on your choice, you may need to account for furniture in your budget. It doesn't have to break the bank.
Your credit score is a number that represents the likelihood that you would pay back money that is leant to you.
It is a mixture of data that shows you are trustworthy (like having a phone bill you pay monthly) and evidence that you can meet repayments on money that you have borrowed (like a credit card).
In the distant (or near) future, you might want to get a mortgage so it’s worth taking the steps below to get yourself set up well.
Here’s what you can do:
Just as you landlord or agent will ask questions of you, you should check that you will feel comfortable to let from them.
Check their legitimacy by:
After you have submitted your deposit, you can make sure that it is in the scheme here.
Here’s the checklist of things to take to your viewings.
Copy and paste it into the notes app on your phone to have it accessible and write down your answers while viewing.
Note: If you proceed this way, you will want to keep a document with all serial numbers, photos & receipts of any items worth more than £300
If you are moving in with others, you’ll want to know who is accountable to what costs.
Your agreement may be a:
It’s always recommended that you are on the contract as it’s legally binding that you have the right to live on the property. Have an honest and open conversation with the people you may rent with. Starter questions you’ll want to consider are:
If you’re wanting to know more about what to consider when renting with other people read more here
There's a couple of bits of information you'll be asked to provide.
To confirm you can pay your rent and are authorised to live in the UK, your landlord or letting agent will check:
To verify you can afford the rental property, they may also ask for
If you feel you are being discriminated against for any reason, contact Shelter here.
Let us know in the comments what you want me to add and I’ll look into it.
8 months ago - 13 minute read
Fronted is a trading name of Fronted Holding LTD. We are registered in England and Wales (Company Number 12278750). Our registered office address is 81 Rivington Street, London, EC2A 3AY. We are part of the FCA regulatory sandbox - Cohort 6. The regulatory sandbox allows firms to test innovative offerings in a live environment. More information on the FCA's regulatory sandbox can be found here.
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