Renting a whole property or a moving to a new room and area its exiting new step. Renting can give you the flexibility and independence. However, there can be a lot of questions and issues you are uncertain about and at times it can feel overwhelming or even a little bit scary.
Before you start your search there are some things that you should consider before you start looking for a new rental accommodation. Bear in mind before you start looking is that the general rule for the length of the tenancy is between six months to two years long, with a year tenancy agreement being the most used.
Before the Move
Before you start house hunting, work out how much you can afford each month. The average monthly cost of rent can reach up to 50% of your regular wage, but remember to budget for amenities like gas, electricity and water, phone and internet connections, TV licence and council tax, if you are renting a property excluded of all bills and amenities.
Make sure to budget for food, household items and any other regular outgoings. You will most likely be required to pay deposit, this should be no more than five weeks’ rent.
Create a list of the necessary amenities you need from your new home.
- Is parking important for you?
- Do you have any pets and what is the price of the insurance for owning a pet?
- How many bedrooms do you need and how many people are moving in?
- Do you require a washing machine/dishwasher/tumble dryer?
- How important is an outside private space? Are you taking furniture with you or you require fully furnished property?
You should prioritise what else you are looking for in the rental property. Other factors such as storage/wardrobes, the speed of the broadband connections as well as which bills are included in the price (if any) may also be important.
If you are sharing a home or renting together with friends or family, you will be entering into a legal agreement as a group, so it is important that you choose people you feel will positively contribute towards a household, and you have a common interest.
Location is of critical importance:
Once you have chosen an area, check out the local transport links, especially if you have a daily commute, as well as the local shops, bars and pubs and children’s facilities (nurseries, schools, etc.) if you are planning to start a family.
Work out how long your journey will take, what zone is the property in (if you are living in London) and the cost, especially if you are relying on public transport.
During the Move
First and foremost please make sure you Post a listing as a tenant looking for a home. You can choose the location/ type of property/ your requirements/ your budget.
Looking for a property through our search bar you can choose a Category and Location.
If you just want to browse you can scroll down our Home page and choose one of the categories House / Flat / Room and check all the locations in certain category , to get a feel of the type of properties and different prices.
If you are interested in the property, you can press the Favourite icon ( heart) and it will be automatically saved in a list for you.
We suggest you send a Message to the advertiser to request a viewing as it might take some time to arrange it.
When looking for a property in Find my Hive, please make sure you check out the Reviews and ratings as well as leaving one when visiting a property.
Visiting a Property to View
Good idea is to look for signs of leaks or damp and check furniture is in good order. Usually, the landlord or the managing agent are required to carry the yearly maintenance of the property as well as repeat of any kind that has been caused by any reasons, beyond the tenant control.
Whilst you are at the property, check to see whether they are safe, whether they have all the gas and electrical certificates and if they have an active carbon monoxide and smoke alarms, as well as fire safety doors and the number of exits.
If you a renting a room in HMO property which consists of multiple tenants that are not part of the same family and share facilities such as the kitchen or bathroom / bathroom/ living room, make sure that the property has been licensed.
Unfortunately often is the case that the property has been illegally rented, and you are of risk of being evicted by the authorities at any time, in which case your contract will be annulated and any upfront fees and deposits will be lost.
Search ‘HMO licence’ and your town to find out what is needed in your area of interest.
The Landlord/ Agent is required by law to provide “Energy Performance Certificate”
Ask current tenants (if there are any), or research using websites such as “Nextdoor” to get a feel of the neighbourhood and what issues there might be.
After the visit you will be prompted by Find My Hive to leave a review about the property. Please make sure you leave an appropriate feedback, for everyone else to read.
Before you sign your contract, you might be asked to provide some identification such as a driving licence or passport to prove that you have the right to live in the UK as well as information about your current employer and previous place of living.
Please make sure to read the tenancy agreement carefully from start to finish and note any issues or clauses you want to discuss before signing. The most frequently issued type of contract is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST), which is mostly given for 1-year initial tenancy.
Landlords or managing agents are required to make sure electrical systems and appliances are safe, so look around whether appliances have a PAT (portable appliance test) sticker on plugs.
It is a good idea to ask for a gas alarm fitted where the boiler and the gas stove/ oven are. It is not a requirement, but it is suggested, if you live in a multiple occupied property.
An AST contains a lot of crucial information, such as the length of the agreement, notice period and areas where you are responsible as a tenant. For example, it should tell you who is responsible for sourcing contents insurance.
If you are unsure about any part of the tenancy agreement, or you cannot achieve an agreement with the landlord or the managing agent, please speak to an impartial solicitor, and ask for a professional advice.
Make sure you are given:
- A copy of your new home’s Gas Safety Certificate (if the property has gas) and Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
- Your Deposit Protection Certificate and any additional licence issued by the local authority (Government How to Rent Guide)
- If you are renting a property and most likely paid a deposit, this must be protected in a government-backed tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme. The landlord or letting agent is required by law to register your deposit within 30 days of you handing it over.
- They must provide details of the agency and provide the Deposit Scheme Certificate for your records.
- Before you move in, it is suggested that you are provided with complete professional inventory report, but for renting a room it is not a legal requirement. In this case you should go around and take pictures and note anything before you start living in the property. Keep everything for your records in case of disputes arising at a later stage.
Upfront fees or agency fees has been banned in Scotland, England, and Wales, so if you have been asked to pay a hefty fee, please seek an independent professional advice!!
During the Tenancy Term
If you are renting a whole property, and your bills are not included in the price you will need to notify the utility companies you have chosen and give them meter readings, your move-in date, and the names of all tenants if your agent or landlord has not done this already.
Make sure that you pay all the bills on time and give a regular meter reading, as well as keep an account and all receipts and bills until the end of the tenancy, or in case of any disputes.
You may be living in the property for some time and unfortunately its quite common to disagree when sharing a space for several different reasons, so make sure you understand how your lifestyles will work around each other and share any concerns or issues at an early stage, instead of waiting the issue to be resolved by itself.
For example, if you have an issue with the way of how your housemates clean and keep up the place you can organise a cleaning rota and put a simple rule around the property to remind everyone of the daily duties they are required to perform, because not everyone is being house trained.
Also, we suggest there is a rubbish disposal rota, as we investigated and found that the disposal of the home rubbish as well as cleaning habits are the main factors leading to disagreements between household members and disputes in the household.
If you have a serious problem with the house do not be afraid to report repairs to your landlord or agent. It is much easier, faster, and cheaper for your landlord to fix an issue when you first notice it than further down the line.
Please make sure that you record all things, and you have graphic images and videos.
Also, if you have done some repairs or bought an item that are not required of you, make sure you notify the landlord/ managing agent before that and keep a note of it.
We suggest all communication is in written form.
The most common deposit disputes are over the condition of the property at the end of the tenancy. Make sure you give the property a thorough clean before you move out and leave the property in the same condition as the day you arrived.
Advice for tenants
- Keep an eye out for damp patches and sighs of mould, peeling wallpaper as well as musty smells.
- Check the toilets and taps, the water pressure, and drain flows.
- Check the central heating, including the boiler and radiators, as well as ask the landlord/ managing agent how old the boiler is.
- Check all windows and ask if they are double glazed.
- Look out for cracks, mould, and rot in the outside walls, slipped tiles on the roof and gutter leaks as well as the condition of the bricks.
- Check if all the windows are lockable.
- Ask how long the current tenants (if any) have lived in the property, why they are moving or why any previous ones moved out, how much are the bills (an estimate), how much is the council tax, what the neighbours are like, how long is the tenancy for, if animals are allowed?
- While visiting the property make sure you check the phone signal and internet black spots and if there is an adequate parking as well as bike parking (if you have a bike).