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Your Total Guide To property

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Top 3 Tips to be a Savvy Tenant

Here's our top three tips to help to rent your home safely and cheaply...

1. Avoid hidden fees and penalities

All to often you hear of tenants and being hit with bills for spurious 'must have' services or snagging fines.

Avoid these traps by keeping up to date with the latest UK laws for renters and lanlords.

Be sure to ask an agents charges upfront and ask them to email the full figure to you so you have it in writing if ever you needed to reference.

Reading the small print in rental contracts is always time consuming but it is a necessary evil. Understand what you are signing and getting yourself in to and raise any questions you may have and ask for the contract to be edited if neseccary. 

Look out for specifications on utilties, deposits, pets, visitors, smoking, parking and contract length.

2. Savvy Snagging

Always make sure the stock list is correct; fixtures, carpets, curtains, crockery and utensils, cleaning. The document shold also state the condition of the items and the house itself. If it says all is perfect but there are marks on the carpet when you move in, for example, you may well be hit with a fine when you move out. Check through it with a fine toothcomb.

3. Bills, Bills, Bills

Electricity, Water, Gas, Council Tax - are these included in your tenancy or are you responsible for them? Ideally you should be so you can look around to get the best possible deal. For example, if there's only one or two of you living there and you are at work most of the time, it might be an idea to have a water metre fitted which will save you money in the long run.  

There are some good deals out there if you hunt for them and you don't have to rely on the landloard. If your name is on the bill you can switch. Take a look at some smart advice from Money Super Market on renters rights when it comes to utilities. Once you're all set up, you must take regular metre readings to avoid nasty surprises and check your bills regularly as unfortuately utilities don't reward loyalty so you have to do your research and negotiate.

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