Contrary to public belief, you do not need to rely on potluck in order to find a good property to rent. If you adopt a careful selection process and itemise your potential likes and dislikes for a suitable property, then you can end up being completely happy with your eventual choice.
Take a large sheet of paper and pen and write down exactly what you are looking for in your ideal property.
Location is obviously important, so therefore select several locations in order of preference. It may very well be that price could play an important part when deciding which location is best for you. However I will deal more with this aspect later on in the article.
Are you looking for a domestic dwelling that has been converted into flats or would you prefer a custom-built building consisting only of flats? Consider your requirements both now and in the future. If your choice is a house, whether it be detached or semi-detached, how many bedrooms will you require both now and possibly in the future?
Do you already own sufficient furniture to equip your potential home or will you have to buy more, always depending upon the size of the premises. Maybe under the circumstances, it would be better if you rented either a partially furnished property or even one that is already fully furnished.
You need to give careful consideration to the length of time you want to be in the property. Would the normal minimum of six months be sufficient whilst you decide it if the property is for you or not? This would of course be dependent upon whether the landlord would be prepared to extend the agreement beyond the initial six months.
With this in mind, are your requirements such that you need a longer term initial lease or indeed a long-term rollover one?
Would you be happy with on street parking or do you require a property with a garage or a minimum of off-street parking facilities?
This is obviously one of the most important aspects when you set out on adventures to find the right property to rent. It is not just as straightforward as you may think, because you need to calculate the overall monthly spend that it will cost you to live in the property.
First of all, there is the question of a deposit. The normal requirement equates to one month’s rent in advance but there are landlords who require more than that so bear it in mind.
If you propose to rent the property unfurnished, you will obviously need to transport your own furniture. So for this, allow a certain initial amount for the removal of furniture both at the commencement and at the termination of the rental period.
If it is your own furniture, you really should consider the cost of insurance to cover damage to your furniture whilst it is in the property. Building Insurance is normally covered by the landlord and should not be of concern to you.
During the colder months, you will require to heat the property. In some properties, you may find that there is a main central heating facility for which you will be required to contribute to the overall costs. However the norm is that you are responsible for the cost of your own heating. Similarly you will also be responsible for the cost of electricity and communication facilities. I therefore recommend that you contact several of the major utility companies and obtain from them a guideline as to the monthly cost for the size of the property you are hoping to rent.
Council tax is another item that has to be considered. Depending upon the rental agreement, the responsibility may rest either with yourself or with the landlord but you can find out from your prospective landlord exactly where the responsibility lies. As a precautionary measure though, contact your local council to find out the rate of council tax that would be applicable to the size of the property you hope to rent.
Finally there is the cost of the rent itself. You obviously know the limit of your overall budget and needless to say, the monthly rent will form a major part. When you are trying to find the ideal property to rent, do not exceed your budget!
One final point insofar as overall budgets are concerned; whilst there are 12 calendar months in the year, not all consist of four weeks. There are two ways to take consideration of this fact. The first is to consider adopting the premise of 13 periods, each of four weeks and work your monthly budget around this. The other alternative is to calculate each month on the basis that there is 4.3 weeks in each of 12 months. If you do not allow for the different number of weeks in each month, you could find yourself running out of budget in those months consisting of 31 days!
Unless your rental period will be a short-term fixed one, such as a student or staying in one place in order to complete a particular job of work, location can play a very important part of finding the right property to rent.
You need to consider such facts as the commute time to and from work. Are you likely to make frequent use amenities such as swimming pool, fitness suites or even playing fields and if so, are they within reasonable distance of your proposed location? Do you lead such a social life that will require an abundance of restaurants, bars, pubs and the like? Try and ascertain what the crime rate is in each of your selected locations.
In this regard, you have two main choices. Either you look in the classified advertisements of the local newspapers or appropriate online websites and scour them for properties that meet your requirements, or you approach reputable rental agencies in each of the locations you have chosen.
You may very well be lucky in your individual research but from a personal aspect that the use of a rental agency is far more beneficial, not only at the outset but more important throughout the term of the Rental period. A rental agency specialises in rental property and will be able to point you in the right direction when you provide them with a list of your particular requirements. They act on behalf of landlords and become your first point of contact when a problem occurs at the property during the rental period. As the agent, it will be their job to put it right in the shortest time possible. It has been my experience that when dealing with the landlord direct, it can often take numerous telephone calls, emails and even threats of withholding rent before faulty boilers or roof leaks are repaired!
Be sure you know in advance exactly what you require when you try to find a property to rent that will fulfil your dreams and enable you to live in a place you can really call home.