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Top 10 Tips for Renting a Home

Renting a home isn't always easy and if it's your first time it can be a mammouth task! That's why we've put together these tips to give you a helping hand...

Know your budget
Before you start looking or even contact an estate agent or landlord directly, work out your budget. Once you've decided your budget don't let the estate agent push you to anything higher - they're good at that!

Finding an estate agent or landlord
Contact as many estate agents as you like, as it costs nothing and the more agents you have looking for a house or flat for you, the more likely you are of finding the right place for you.

Finding the right place
There are a number of apps available to help you find the right place. Rightmove and Zoopla both have free apps, so whether you're on the bus on the way to work or relaxing on your sofa you can be searching for homes which meet your criteria!

Vet your landlord or estate agent
If you're potential landlord or estate agent seems a little unreliable, there are ways of checking everything is legit and chances are if they've been a bad landlord or estate agent someone is going to have noted it online! Find out the name and address of your landlord and check it on the UK Government website - Also check google! If you're using an estate agent make sure they are part of a professional body UK Association of Letting Agents or National Association of Estate Agents, you could also have a look for reviews online. 

Looking for Furniture?
If you're a first time renter and you're renting an unfurnished house or flat you may be looking for furniture but lacking the budget to buy everything brand new. Check Freecycle and Freegle and you could get a second-hand sofa or fridge freezer for free! It's also worth checking Facebook for local selling pages in Swindon where you could find something on the cheap!

Decorating? You'll need permission from your landlord
Before you decide to put a picture up or give the walls a fresh paint, you'll need to get permission from your landlord. Whilst some landlords are happy for you to do as you like, others may not want their house being changed. You might have to make do with  brightly coloured furnishings to brighten up your home!

Inventory
Check, re-check and re-check again! It's important to make sure you write down and tell your estate agent or landlord about anything wrong with the house, as if you don't this will affect you getting your deposit back. Taking pictures of anything wrong with the house with a date stamp and sending them via email to your landlord or estate agent will mean there will be a digital trail if they try to dispute it when you come to leave the house.

Meter Reading
Take a meter reading as soon as you move in and give it to your energy provider so they'll charge you the right amount when sending you your first bill. 

Redirect your mail
Although everything seems to be paperless these days, don't forget to redirect your mail otherwise your post will be going to your old house, which means you might not get it.

Insurance
Insuring your contents of your house is important, make sure you find a reputable insurer who will cover your contents for a reasonable price. HomeLet are a specialist tenant insurer helping to protect your contents as well as your liability. Make sure you do your research to get the best insurer and best price as moving house is already expensive as it is! 

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