Renting a house in London isn’t always as easy as finding somewhere you like, moving in and paying the rent each month. Before you set off on your journey to rent a house, there are 10 things you need to know.
1. It costs more than you thinkSo you’ve finally saved enough to pay your first months rent and the deposit. You’re all set and ready to move. Or are you..? There may turn out to be some extra hidden costs. Landlords and letting agents will want to run credit and reference checks on potential tenants, the cost of which will be passed onto you. On top of this, if you’re renting a house through an agency, it’s likely there will be admin fees and a larger deposit than expected. To give an example, for a house that costs £1,200 per month you might expect to pay:
- Deposit (usually around 6 weeks* rent): £1,662.00
- 1st month’s rent (paid upfront): £1,200.00
- Administration fees*: £200.00
- Referencing fees*: £60.00
2. Bills, bills, billsBills are an unfortunate reality of renting a home. As a tenant, you will likely be responsible for paying all of the household bills. This may include:
- Gas and/or electricity,
- Water bills,
- Council tax,
- Service charge (only for some properties),
- TV license (if you plan on watching live TV),
- Landline phone bill,
- Contents insurance,
- Digital TV or satellite TV subscriptions,
- Broadband bill
3. Electrical goods – who supplies the basicsWhether you’re taking a property furnished or unfurnished, you need to check what electrical goods are included in the price, and what condition they’re in. If you need any of these things but they aren’t supplied, you’ll need to factor the cost of purchasing these into your decision.
- Washing machine
4. Become Sherlock Holmes at the viewingNo, we don’t mean dusting for prints and popping on a tweed deerstalker, but what you should do is some serious property detective work. Take along your very own Watson if it helps! Now is your chance to check for yourself. Here’s some things to get you started:
- Any guttering for moss and mould
- Underneath and around taps to check for leaks or low water pressure,
- What’s the water pressure like in the shower?
- Do the windows and doors open and close smoothly?
- Are the floorboards or carpets damaged?
- Flush the toilet; you can even road test it if you have nerves of steel!
- Check the garden and any alleyways for fire exit routes,
- Do the locks work ok?
- Where is the post box and is this safe and secure?