Step by step: How to rent a property

Step 1:

Find a house/apartment to rent.

Step 2:

Contact landlord or estate agents for a visit. Query as to whether the property is furnished or unfurnished as this may make a huge difference to the PCM, and your budget.

When you visit properties to rent always check for damp, among other things.

Step 3:

Once you decide you’d like it, agree a price (it’s always worth bargaining because you never know how much they might drop).

At this point, providing both parties have agreed a price and depending on the demand for the property you may be asked to pay a holding deposit. Click here to find out more about holding deposits.

Step 4:

The agent will ask you permission to do a credit check or another agency will ask you, the credit check may include checking with your company a few details as an assurance. For more details on your credit score click here.

Step 5:

The landlord or agent will then present you with a contract, the common in the UK is a short-hold tenancy agreement, which is typically 12 months long but often with six month breaks in, it also typically means you can vacate the property with one months notice.

Step 6:

Around this time you should be paying the security deposit, if you haven’t already paid a holding deposit.

Step 7:

Check the inventory, before you move in.

An inventory is a complete list of items.

On the inventory note all the condition of everything round the house, e.g. cupboard with broken hinges. It’s a good idea to be thorough as anything not accounted for, or already damaged you may have to pay for at the end.

Also, keeping a copy in the flat is a good idea so you can keep track of things.

Step 8:

Move in!

Step 9:

On the day of move in you must read the gas, electricity and if necessary water meter and register yourself for those utilities, your landlord will be able to tell you whom the provider for each is.

It’s not possible to change the water supplier in the area but you can search around for a cheaper deal on gas and electricity bills, and cable. If you’re unsure how to take a gas or electricity meter reading click here.

For more about bills, and how to pay them click here.

Step 10:

Establish the out of hours contact details, and who to contact in an emergency.