If you have not rented a property in Preston before then renting for the first time can seem daunting, there are often a lot of hoops to jump through but this is quite normal. Our quick guide will leave you feeling like a seasoned tenant in no time and should help alleviate any worries.
Rent will be your largest monthly cost, so it is vital to work out how much you can afford before you start your search. A good rule of thumb is to allocate no more than 30–45% of your monthly income. Make sure you pay attention to whether the rental rate being advertised is per week or per month. If it is per week, multiply it by 52 and then divide by 12 to find out the monthly cost.
One thing to allow for is when you rent will be due each month. Most rent due dates will be on the same date as the date your tenancy commences. You may need to allow for this when budgeting each month, especially if you get paid at the end of the month but you rent is due mid-month.
This is normally five weeks' rent, this is the maximum a landlord/agent is legally allowed to charge. Your landlord can make deductions from your security deposit at the end of the tenancy to cover rent arrears or damage to the property.
Your landlord or letting agent is required by law to place your deposit in one of three government-backed protection schemes and provide you with the details. They must also let you know how much they propose to deduct from your deposit within 10 days of the end of your tenancy.
If you disagree with this amount, then the deposit protection schemes provide a resolution service. This can be used to settle any disputes, provided that you and your landlord agree to use it and accept the decision made.
Some letting agents and landlords charge a holding deposit. The maximum amount that they are legally allowed to charge is equivalent to one week’s rent and it is held while your references are being checked. The purpose of this is to confirm your commitment to the property and change it from an available status, viewings will cease once the holding deposit is paid.
The holding deposit will then either be returned to you or deducted from your first month’s rent. The landlord or letting agent is legally allowed to keep your holding deposit if you change your mind about renting the property, give false or misleading information, or fail to pass referencing or a ‘right to rent’ check.
Rent is usually paid in advance to cover the upcoming month so you will need to pay the first month’s rent before you move in.
Unless your rental agreement states otherwise you will be responsible for paying the following:
- Council Tax
- Utility bills (gas, water and electric)
- Internet and phone bills
- Contents insurance – The landlords insurance does not cover your personal belongings
When a property is advertised for rent the landlord/agent must display the council tax band of the property, with this you can find out what the annual council tax will be for the property. All you need to do is go to the Preston City Council website and the information is easily searchable.
The EPC rating must also be displayed on all property marketing. This will give you an indication of how energy efficient the property is.
When going on a viewing, you could ask the current tenants about the cost of their bills so you have an idea of how much yours will be.
You can rent a property fully furnished, partly furnished or unfurnished. A furnished property may cost slightly more but it is usually cheaper than having to buy all of your own furniture. However, an unfurnished property gives you more opportunity to put your own stamp on your home.
In Preston you will find most city apartments are furnished whereas most houses are unfurnished.
Any other costs
You are liable to pay for any damage that you cause to the property. There may also be fees for changing the tenancy agreement during the tenancy.
You may be charged to have a new set of keys cut if you lose yours, and your landlord or letting agent is legally allowed to charge you interest on your rent if you are two or more weeks behind. The interest charged can be no more than 3% above the Bank Rate per day.
Your landlord or letting agent will want to make sure you can afford the rent. They will therefore require that you provide them with references, usually from your previous landlord and current employer.
You will also need to provide proof of income and address, usually in the form of payslips, bills and/or bank statements. It is also normal for them to run a credit check on you so it is always wise to take some time to check your credit score through sites like Experian and Equifax to make sure that there are no issues that will be flagged up.
Referencing is normally done through a third party referencing company that will establish all the information required.
If you are looking to rent a property in Preston, Leyland, Chorley or surrounding areas please give us a call on 01772 284606 or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.