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The idea of moving into a property for the first time can seem daunting, whether you’re buying or renting it includes a lot of paperwork, searching and finding the perfect area. So you want to make sure you’re making the right decision before signing on the dotted line. Most tenancy agreements are straight forward, however, it’s worth reading through the terms (as boring as it sounds), you never know what may be lurking within.
If you’re a tenant there are some things to consider when moving into your property for the first time, here are my top tips to making your life as a first time tenant easy.
Make sure your landlord puts your deposit into a protection scheme
Although this the law, some landlords may try to get around this. It’s important that you are informed by documentation that it has been put in this safe hold. If you move out and the house is just as it was found you should receive your full deposit back. If there any disputes around this make sure to talk this through.
Get contents insurance
As a tenant, you are responsible for your items within the home, buy comparing the best home insurance policies you can get some really cheap ones on the market for as little as £5 per month dependent on the items in your home.
Whereas a landlord is responsible to get cover for the property itself, there are different policies for different property types. For example, CIA Landlord Insurance offers a variety of specialist landlord insurance. Including coverage of Loss of Rent, Extensive Cover and 100% Flat Roof Coverage.
Look into council tax beforehand
Although rent is one of the key things to take into consideration before signing a contract, things such as council tax can be a huge contributing factor to costs. If you’re a single person and live alone you can get 25% discount and if you’re a student council tax isn’t applicable. With council tax being split into bands, with A being the lowest amount and Band H being the highest amount. The band is determined by a number of factors including:
- change in use
- value on 1 April 1991 (England) or 1 April 2003 (Wales)
Dependent where you live, the council tax can vary massively in price, but it’s important to find out what the charge will be for your postcode and number. By searching your address on GOV.UK will give you the band you’re in.
Are pets allowed?
If your tenancy says no pets, it’s important to see if you can clear this with your landlord before moving in. If you breach the agreement, your landlord can terminate your contract. Although your landlord may not do this, it’s important to get the all-clear before buying a new pet or moving in with one.
As a tenant, I thought it would be interesting to ask my landlord Jan, what information he wishes tenants knew and how to create a good tenant and landlord relationship.
As a landlord, Jan confirmed that one of the most frustrating things (other than unpaid rent) is lack of communication. He advised that is important to keep the lines of communication open between the tenant and landlord. If you notice something wrong in the property, it’s worth notifying your landlord as they can then help to fix it. Being able, to be honest is always preferable.
Being a landlord can mean putting trust in your tenants, the trust includes not wrecking the home, paying the rent on time and to advise if anything goes wrong. With good lines of communication, it can be easier to speak up if anything goes wrong.
Landlords just want respect as the property owner, just as tenants want from their landlords. Jan made the point of saying, it’s the landlords’ house, however, it’s your home. If you’re looking to do something like decorating the walls, it’s important to seek permission first.
I hope this has been helpful to find out what it is like from both ends of the spectrum and if you have any questions you’d like answering feel free to leave them in the comments and I may even ask my Landlord for you. To find out more about my renting experiences so far, check out my blog post on moving into your own home.