Published: 13/09/2020If you're relocating to the UK, you might find that the rental process is slightly different from what you're used to and a little daunting.
There are a few processes that need to be ticked off before you get the keys to your new home:
BEFORE YOU BEGIN
- Work out your requirements and calculate your budget as this will define and refine your property search. As a rule of thumb, renters can't afford to spend more than 35% of their net pay on rent, but this also depends on other factors that are personal to you.
- Decide on the area that you'd like to live; London is an incredibly diverse city to live and work and each borough has a different personality and vibe.
- Landlords in the UK are legally required to check you have the right to rent property in England. This means you will be asked to produce documentation to prove this. Arranging these documents beforehand will make the rental process run more smoothly.
CHECK WHO YOU'RE RENTING FROM
The rental process will either be handled by a letting agent or by the landlord. If you're renting directly from a landlord, you must do your research and learn more about them. For instance, are they subletting the property? If so, you will need to find out if they have permission to do so from the property owner.
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QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR POTENTIAL LANDLORD
1. How long is the tenancy?
Rental agreements mostly run for fixed periods of twelve months or more. You can request any term you wish and ask for the opportunity to serve two months' notice after a given period. The landlord does not have to agree and bear in mind tenants who stay for longer terms and don't want a break clause, are usually the most attractive to the landlord.
2. Are there any house rules?
Find out about any restrictions that you will have to follow throughout your tenancy. For example, are children or pets allowed, and will this impact your decision?
3. Is the property safe?
Check that the property is safe. Is it fitted with working smoke detectors on every floor, and do all of the appliances work properly?
4. Is the property mortgaged?
Is the landlord paying a mortgage on the property, because if they fail to keep up with payments, you may have to leave.
ALWAYS CHECK THE PAPERWORK
The definition of a tenancy agreement: a formal contract between the tenant and the landlord.
When you settle on the right property, double-check that you've filled in the appropriate paperwork, and ensure that it all makes sense. Keeping hard copies of all paperwork is a safety net if anything does go wrong.
Ensure you have:
- A tenancy agreement that you completely understand
- An inventory (or check-in report), which will help in settling any dispute that you may have further down the line
- A record of meter readings, so you don't pay the bills for the previous tenant
- Contact details for your letting agent or landlord
- A gas-safety certificate
- An EPC, energy-performance certificate
- Record of your deposit
TRANSPARENCY IS KEY
We believe that transparency between landlords and tenants is the key to a healthy rental experience. If you're moving to the UK, having peace of mind and a sense of security in your agreement makes the entire process easier for you.
For stylish properties and outstanding service, please take a look at our London properties for rent portfolio.