Make sure that the floor-space, number, layout and size of the rooms is right for your circumstances. It is very easy to be ‘wowed’ by a well presented house but you have to stand back and be honest with yourself about whether it is right for you, and if you identify compromises, can you live with them?
It’s slightly easier when renting to compromise if the lack of supply in your chosen location makes it necessary because of course, after your initial contract is up, you can move-on if you are unhappy and can find somewhere more suitable.
Ease of Living
I apologise if this is obvious but there are usually important differences between modern properties and older ones.
While this is a generalisation, modern properties tend to be more energy efficient and therefore cheaper to run but have smaller rooms and gardens. Older properties, tend to be less energy efficient but to have slightly larger rooms and gardens.
You should take the cost of running the property into account and you should look to the Agent to give you an idea of the utility costs and Council Tax.
This is always the tricky one and there are no right or wrong answers as to how much you should pay to rent a property.
Unlike when buying, it is not unheard of but it is rare for haggling to take place over the monthly rent to be paid. This is of course particularly so where demand outstrips supply as it often does in the Bishops Stortford, Saffron Walden, Cambridge corridor.
Always remember that on top of the monthly rent, you will have to pay electricity, gas and water bills as well as the Council Tax on the property and you will likely be referenced by a professional referencing company.
Referencing – These are in the main financial checks. Your employer has to verify your employment and your salary – remember, only guaranteed salary is taken into account, not bonuses. Your credit score is also checked and any non-payment of debts or County Court Judgments against you will be found, so it is vital to tell the Agent about these. You will fail the reference checks automatically if they discover something you haven’t revealed. If you have a guarantor ready to sign a legal document saying that they will pay any rent or other monies owed if you can’t, that often helps.
If you are currently renting, they will also want a positive reference from your current Landlord.
If you are self-employed, they will want information from your accountant and/or sight of your bank statements.
Right to rent checks – Agents and Landlords are now required to see sight of Passports, Driving Licenses and, where necessary, ‘right to remain’ cards for ALL prospective tenants.