How to rent a place to live

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PRIVATE LANDLORD

 

WHY RENT WITH A PRIVATE LANDLORD

 

ADVANTAGES:

 

Possibly the main advantage is that you do not have to pay administration fees or agency fees which can be quite costly (see agency renting below). You will also avoid lengthy credit checks or background checks. Private landlords tend to be more lenient when it comes to providing documents regarding your financial situation and references.

The payment required in advance usually includes deposit (which will be returned once your tenancy agreement comes to an end) and two to six weeks rent in advance depending on the property you are about to rent.

A private landlord is responsible for repairs and maintenance within the property as well as dealing with any complaints you might have, either with other tenants or the property itself.

Landlords generally do not share the property with their tenants and it may therefore be quite difficult to get hold of them when needed.

 

DISADVANTAGES:

The disadvantage that comes with renting through a private landlord is mainly the process of finding the right property for yourself. Furthermore, the fact that you will have to meet a stranger in a property does not offer a sense of security.

Private landlords are also unregulated and have their own rules and the ultimate word in agreeing or ending a tenancy. However, tenants’ rights still apply. You still have rights!

 

WHAT IS AN IMMIGRATION STATUS CHECK

 

By law, the landlord must check that the anyone who wants to rent a property is in England legally. This requirement was introduced by the UK government on 1 February 2016.

 

HOW DO LANDLORDS CHECK YOUR STATUS

 

The landlord will ask to see some of your documents. These could be your passport, national identity card, residence card or certificate of registration or naturalisation.

You will need to provide a copy of one of the documents which the landlord must store securely. DO NOT give your original documents only copies.

For more information visit the CitizenAdvice website.

 

 

LETTING AGENCY

 

WHY RENT WITHA LETTING AGENCY

ADVANTAGES

The main advantage is a sense of security that agencies offer as oppose to renting from an unregulated private landlord.

For extra sense of security you might want to look for an agency that belongs to the Association of Residential Letting Agents where all the members have to follow a code of practice regulated by the association. These agencies are also known as the ARLA members.

Unlike private landlords, who usually offer one type of property available for viewing to a number of potential tenants, agencies will try to find a suitable property for you based on your needs and budget. You can visit a letting agency and explain what type of property or room you are looking for as well as what you are willing to spend (what is your budget). The agent will then show you properties that match your requirements and takes you for viewing.

 

DISADVANTAGES

AGENCY FEES

High fees are the main disadvantage of renting through an agency.

Fees usually include (1) admin fees for drawing up the tenancy agreement, (2) fees for inventory and (3) a fee for checking references. It is also common to be asked to pay a (4) holding fee which will guarantee you will be first in line as some properties may be highly desirable and have many more potential tenants viewing them.

The agency fees vary and may reach up to several hundred pounds depending on agency. The fees for checking references are non-refundable even if the checks reject you as a tenant. The fees are paid per person, which means that if you decide to rent a property with a friend or a partner both of you will have to pay the fee.

 

COUNCIL OR HOUSING ASSOCIATION

 

People renting through a housing association are generally people on low or no income, people with special needs, people considered homeless or single people with young children.

It can be a lengthy process providing you will be put on a waiting list and you will be allocated accommodation according to availability. You will unlikely be able to pick a location or a date.

However, if you qualify for applying through your local council do so as once you get your accommodation you will be entitled to pass it on to your family or even eventually buy the property at a discounted price.

 


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