I’ve been renting for over eight years, and in that time I like to think that I’ve learned a lot about the rental process.


I can still remember the first time I rented a property; I was 18-years-old and a student at university. I was excited about gaining my new found freedom living away from home, but I was also extremely anxious about what being a rental tenant meant. I didn’t understand what my responsibilities were and what I was and was not allowed to do.


Eight years on and I now feel like an extremely confident renter. I’ve rented five different houses in that time and had various rental agreements, some for student accommodation, some for furnished properties, and some unfurnished. I’ve learned a lot in the past few years of renting, and so I thought that I would share some tips and advice with you relating to renting as a first-timer. For everything that you should know, read on!


Always ask what type of tenancy it is


This could relate to a lot of things. You see, there are many different types of tenancies.


There are short-term lets which tend to last three to six months, then there are longer term lets that are normally a minimum of a year with scope to extend them after.


There are also furnished, part-furnished, and unfurnished lets – this refers to whether the property is fully furnished, unfurnished, or part way in between.


Then there are single tenancies and group tenancies as well. These don’t refer to how many people live in the house but how they are renting the property. For instance, a couple who live together and split the rent payments would be under a single tenancy, whereas a group of people co-habiting who each pays their own portion or rent and bills would have a group tenancy.


Ensure that your landlord is legit


We’ve all seen that TV show ‘Landlord’s From Hell’, where tenancies end in total and complete disasters. Don’t make the mistake of not checking that your landlord plays by the book, as otherwise, you could live to regret it.


If things are done through a professional agency, then the chances are that your landlord is a legitimate landlord who follows the rules and regulations in place. However, if you have a private let with a landlord who deals with everything themselves, it’s essential that you check them out. What you want to ensure that they have in place are things like landlord’s insurance from somewhere like Homelet, regular and up to date gas safety checks, and that any other legal requirements are being met.


Know what you want and how much you can afford


Before you choose a rental property, it’s essential that you know what you want and how much you can afford to spend each month. It’s a good idea to spend some time looking online at what kinds of properties would be a good fit for your specific needs.


It’s also important to consider what kinds of places are within your price range. When budgeting to determine what you can afford to spend, if the property price doesn’t include all bills, it’s essential that you consider what you can afford to spend overall each month.


So there you have it, a few useful tips for first-time renters. These are all pieces of advice that I’ve learned over the years as a renter.