Renting guide


Five things to consider before renting a home


Renting involves fewer upfront costs 

When it comes to renting a property, there are fewer upfront costs required when compared to buying a property.

Both renting and buying a home involve saving for a deposit, but when purchasing a home, the deposit needed is much heftier and is usually around 5% to 15% of the price of the property, whereas when renting, you’d need a deposit worth one month’s rent.

There are lower barriers to entry 

Renting can often be a more achievable goal for home movers because of the lower barriers to entry when compared to the alternative of buying a property.

We’ve already outlined the fewer upfront costs associated with renting which can make it a more accessible option, but there are also fewer costs involved when actually living in a rental property. For example, if you own a property, you’re also completely responsible for any costs to repair damages or maintenance. On the other hand, when renting, these costs are typically the responsibility of the landlord who will need to arrange any repairs needed which eliminates the hassle from the tenant needing to organise them.

Some rental properties also come furnished which removes the cost and stress associated with needing to kit out your new place once you’ve moved in and spent a lot of money on completing the purchase of the home itself. 

While the lower level of responsibility for maintaining the property and the convenience of a fully furnished rental may seem like small details, they, as well as the fewer costs associated with renting, make it a suitable option for those looking to move with lower barriers to entry when compared to buying which is a goal that can take a long time for many individuals to achieve.

Renting can be flexible 

If you choose to rent a property, there’s a sense of freedom that can come with it.

Buying a home is a big commitment and you have to be pretty sure that you’re set on staying in that property and location for the long term once you’ve set your roots there. On the other hand, when renting, contracts can come with more flexibility which means that if you get a job offer abroad, need to move across the country or just fancy trying out a new area in the city you’re already in, you’ll have the ability to do so more easily

Make yourself available 

If you’re serious about renting, it’s important to make yourself available to view properties as they become available especially in a competitive market.

The rental market can be incredibly fast paced, and in areas with high demand, properties can be snapped up pretty quickly after hitting the market. So, to be in with the best chance of securing the home you want, it’s important to stay flexible and make yourself available as much as possible to go and view properties as they become available.

Being able to make the appointment sooner rather than later when your letting agent gets in touch with you will mean you’ll get your foot in the door ahead of the competition and reduce the risk of missing out on a property you love.

Build rapport 

It’s no secret that property is a people business, so building a good rapport with letting agents and landlords is key.

Having a good relationship with your letting agent and landlord is important in any instance, but in particular, in a busy market, setting yourself apart from the competition can make all the difference. Building up your profile as a potential tenant who is reliable, personable and keen to move can help you stay front of mind when new stock becomes available so making your needs, wants and intentions to move clear can help you stand out to your letting agent.

In addition, if a property has a lot of interest and there are multiple offers on the table which a landlord has to choose between, building a rapport with them if you get to meet them on a viewing for example by showing real interest in the property can go a long way.

Beyond securing a property, having a good working relationship with your letting agent or landlord will also prove invaluable during your tenancy and will likely mean that any issues that may arise will be handled more smoothly if great communication is there. 

What is your landlord responsible for in your rented property?

Private landlords have certain responsibilities to their tenants by law, just as tenants have a number of obligations they’re required to adhere to.

If you’re renting a property, it’s important to understand exactly what is expected of your landlord, as well as knowing what your responsibilities are as a tenant. There are rules in place to protect both parties and ensure a mutually beneficial arrangement.

To help, we’ve created a guide to help you understand what your landlord is responsible for.

Getting started

At the start of a tenancy, your landlord should give you an energy performance certificate (EPC) and a gas safety certificate (if relevant for the property you’re renting). They’ll also perform a legally required check on your immigration status, know as ‘right to rent’ check, which applies to anyone else living at the property.

When renting through a letting agent, the agent will be act as the middleman between both sides to ensure that all of these checks are carried out correctly and all relevant documents are provided to both parties.

It’s important to ask your landlord questions before you move in to ensure you’re both on the same page when it comes to things like when rent is due and clarifying who’s responsible for the bills

Fit to live in

As of March 2019, the law states that any property being rented out must be fit for human habitation according to a particular set of guidelines. This doesn’t mean that the décor and soft furnishings should be to your liking, however.

It relates to making sure the property is safe to live in, healthy, free of hazards, and in a good state of repair so that it doesn’t present a danger to tenants in any way.

This means that gas equipment such as a boiler must be fitted by a gas safe engineer and inspected annually. The landlord is also responsible for fitting a working smoke alarm on each floor, and if you have a wood-burning stove, a carbon monoxide detector must be fitted in that room. Other electrical items supplied by the landlord, such as fridge freezers and other white goods, should be checked roughly every five years.

Any soft furnishings, which includes mattresses and sofas, should be labelled by your landlord with a ‘carelessness causes fire’ label.

Maintaining the property

If maintenance issues arise during the tenancy, the tenant is responsible for notifying the landlord so that they can arrange any repairs to be made, this could include anything from electrical problems to damp and mould.

Whilst the landlord is responsible for maintaining the property for the most part, the tenant is still responsible for some things. This includes changing lightbulbs, cleaning the property, changing or testing batteries in a smoke or carbon monoxide alarm.

If you, a visitor, or even a pet, causes damage, the landlord may request that you make the suitable repairs. You can read our top tips for renting with pets here…

When can your landlord visit the property?

Understandably, landlords may have to inspect the property from time to time, and they have the right to do so. However, your landlord must give you 24 hours’ notice first, in writing, as tenants have the right to enjoy their home without being disturbed.

They’re not allowed to enter the property without your consent, for instance, while you’re not in.

Can your landlord increase the rent?

Your tenancy agreement should give details of when the rent is to be reviewed. If you have a fixed tenancy, the landlord may increase the rent, but only if you agree.

10 tips to make packing for your home move easier



Once you’ve completed on your next property purchase or signed the rental agreement for your next home, it’ll be time to think about packing for your move. Whether you’re upsizing, downsizing, or moving to a similar sized property,  are lots of things to think about when taking all of your belongings from one place to the next which can make the process feel overwhelming. 

To help make the task more manageable, below, we share our essential tips for making packing for your next move as easy and smooth as possible

  1. Declutter 

Before you start packing, declutter your current space so you can get a better picture of what you have and what you definitely want to take with you to your new place as well as what you may be willing to get rid of. 

Over time, we can accumulate plenty of things which can end up hiding in cupboards and drawers we often forget about. A new move is an opportunity for a new start, so if there’s anything you don’t need to take with you to your new home, decluttering before you start packing can help you avoid taking anything with you that you don’t need or want anymore. 

Sort through one room at a time to make the task more manageable and decide whether to keep, donate, sell or recycle items as you go through them.

  1. Make a list

Once you’ve decluttered your current home and you know exactly what you’ll be keeping for your move, you can start thinking about packing. 

Rather than jumping straight in, make a list of what you’ll be packing so you can keep track of everything as you go. It may be easier to make a list per room to avoid creating a one big list which may get out of hand. 

Depending on what you find easiest, you could look around each room in your current home and list the items you’ll be packing before you get started, or you may prefer to write down each thing as you pack. 

  1. Start as early as possible 

Packing is a big task and can be very time consuming. To avoid rushing at the last minute, try to start the process as early as possible if you can to alleviate some of the stress. 

  1. Book your removal company in advance 

If you’ll be using a removal company to transport your things to your new home, it’s best to book in advance as removal firms can get extremely busy and may have a waiting list. It’s typically recommended to book a slot four to six weeks in advance of your moving date to avoid disappointment. 

  1. Prepare your materials 

When it comes to packing, preparation is key. Not only is it important to have a thorough declutter and a set of organised lists, but it’s also crucial to make sure you’ve got all the materials you need to pack effectively so you’re ready to go once it’s time to get started. 

Cardboard boxes in a range of sizes suitable for different items are a good place to start when gathering your packing materials. They’re relatively inexpensive and can be easily recycled after your move. You might even consider investing in a couple of re-usable plastic boxes for heavier items which could be used as storage in your new place too. 

Have some permanent markers to hand too so you can clearly label each box with their contents (more on this later!). Make sure you have enough packing tape to seal each box too, and consider whether you might need bubble wrap or packing foam to protect particularly fragile items.  

  1. Tackle one area at a time 

Breaking your home down into individual rooms will make the packing process feel much less daunting than if you were to think about packing up your property as a whole. 

If you’re able to start packing well in advance of your move, you may choose to start with the rooms you use least and work through to the rooms that you use most often, potentially leaving the kitchen to last for example. 

No matter how you choose to divide your home, tackling one space at a time will make the process more efficient as once a room is packed, you can move on to the next knowing there aren’t any unfinished bits and pieces left to do in the space you just completed and will prevent you going back and forth between rooms up until the removal vans arrive. 

  1. Label things clearly 

Label each box you pack with its contents before you seal it to stop you forgetting what’s inside. Be as detailed as possible so you can easily locate things once you’ve arrived at your new home. For example, rather than just labelling a box with “books”, you may wish to specify whether it contains cookbooks, coffee table books or children’s stories. 

As well as labelling each box with its contents, it’s also worth labelling which room each box should be placed in at your new place. Specifying whether a box belongs in the kitchen, bathroom, or front bedroom on the first floor will make it much easier to sort things as each box is unloaded to avoid everything being stacked in one place or taken to the wrong room. Unpacking will be much more efficient if each box is placed in the right room on arrival. 

Remember to also label whether a box contains fragile items or if it should be placed a certain way up to avoid damages!

  1. Pack smart 

There are a few hacks to consider to make packing different items easier. For example, when packing the clothes that are hanging in your wardrobe, it might be easier to gather the hangers together, tie the tops of the hangers together and drape a bin liner over the top of them with the tops of the hangers poking out of the liner so that when you come to unpack, you can simply uncover the clothes, un-tie the tops of the hangers and immediately hang them back up. 

Tucking pairs of socks inside shoes is also a great space saver and packing heavier items at the bottom of boxes is best to avoid squashing or damaging soft, light items. 

  1. Get a spare set of keys cut 

If possible, getting a spare set of keys cut for your new place to keep with you at all times is a good idea for moving day. That way, if you get locked out by accident in between all the back and forth, you’ll be able to get back in quickly! 

  1. Pack an overnight bag 

Moving days are tiring. With this in mind, it would be unrealistic to expect yourself to unpack everything as soon as you arrive on the first day. 

You may wish to make a start by unpacking some of the items in the rooms you use most, but to avoid rummaging around a sea of boxes to find the things you need straight away, it’s worth packing an overnight bag of essentials for moving day. 

Things like toiletries, a towel, clothes for the first night and next morning as well as chargers for your phone and laptop are important to consider having within easy reach. 

As well as packing an overnight bag for yourself, if you’re moving with children, packing an essentials bag for them too which contains a few items of clothing, snacks and their favourite toys will also help them feel more settled once you arrive at your new place. Remember to do the same for your pets too, having their bowls, a few toys and their bed to hand will help them feel more at home. 

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