When looking for the right home, a checklist is a great start as it will focus your search. Renting a property is temporary, which means, unlike buying, you can look for somewhere else quickly if you aren’t happy. However, getting it right the first time will be cheaper and easier.
Here are some pointers to consider:
- Your reason for renting will have an impact on the type of property you’re looking for. If it’s a mid-week rental to save a commute, somewhere smaller should suit you. If it’s your first home with a partner, think about the amount of space you are going to need, rather than the space you may want.
- Can you share with someone else? Renting can be expensive and house shares may be a good solution. Think about whether you could live with others.
- If you are happy to share, finding someone to share with before finding a property is another option. A friend or colleague is a good starting point, although living with someone is very different and can be challenging, so if you have any doubts about living with a certain friend, take the time to really consider if it's a good idea.
- Do you need a parking space? Will you be able to park on the side of the road? If you’re renting a room in a city centre, investigate a parking permit.
- Furnished or unfurnished? Generally speaking, unfurnished is more popular with renters as your own furniture makes the property feel more like your own home. Additionally, if you’re renting before buying, purchasing furniture for a rented property saves you needing to purchase everything when you buy. If you’re looking for a room only, it’s likely you’ll be looking at furnished options, and this is easier when it comes to moving in and out. Part-furnished is also an option. Be aware that any furniture is also subject to being checked on an inventory, and you will be responsible for the condition of it when you move out. This can determine whether or not you get your deposit back when you move out.
- Is there somewhere to wash and dry your clothes? If it’s a small flat, drying your clothes can be tricky without a tumble dryer. If the property is lacking space and doesn’t have a washer dryer, you may need to buy one, or seek out the nearest laundrette.
- What is the bathroom like? Can you cope with a bath with a shower over it? Likewise, can you cope without a bath?
- Outside space when renting can mean added costs and time. If you’re responsible for maintaining the garden, you may need to cut the grass and weed the beds – is that something you want to do?