I’m back! (again). I’m so sorry for the sudden quietness coming from this blog, me and my boyfriend ended up moving to a our first flat and it all came about quite quickly. Still waiting for internet to be installed in our new place, but once it’s all sorted I promise there will be more content!
We ended up going for a our first viewing on 6th April, we adored the flat, got the keys on 17th April then moved in on the 19th. After 3 days of unpacking and sorting everything out, we are all settled! Our new washing machine got delivered today and then hopefully our internet will be active on Friday. Becoming a proper adult is terrifying but I’m super enjoying it so far 🙂
Thought I would do a little tips post on renting if you are a first time renter as the whole process can be vary daunting:
- Don’t go for a flat/house unless you are 100% positive about it:
I used sites like Rightmove and Zoopla to find my place, it’s so much easier than using Estate Agents and you can save all your liked properties on the sites. However, it is really easy to fall in love with a flat/house and ignore any issues with it. I went through dozens of flats that I liked but had one issue with it, they were either too small, too far away, no parking, too many neighbours etc. Even if a property looks amazing and you a desperate to move out, hold out for something else as there will always be something better.
- Using a lettings agency makes the process so much easier:
As a first time renter I didn’t want to look for a private rented flat without having a back up, this is where Letting Agencies come in. A Letting Agency is a facilitator which acts as the middle ground for tenants and landlords, any problems or queries goes through the agency rather than straight to the landlord or tenant. It makes the whole process easier and less stressful as someone else is technically doing all the work for you. The only downside is the fees you have to pay for an agent, we paid around £200 each, but this will soon be abandoned making it less expensive to rent.
- Pick up homeware items for a few months before you move out:
Renting is expensive and so is furnishing/decorating/filling up your property. Me and my boyfriend started buying stuff for the kitchen just after Christmas, it’s crazy how buying something here and there starts to add up to a fully functioning home.
- Do your research:
It might seem excessive but there is so much you have to know before renting a property, it’s best to do as much research as your brain can cope with. I found Right Move had a great section on renting, Money Savings Expert has a very detailed list of everything you need to know before and during renting and Prime Location has a checklist of everything you should ask/look out for when going for a property viewing. There are many forums and online articles to read too, there is literally unlimited resources so you’ll find the answer to your questions somewhere.
- If you have any worries, speak up:
My Lettings Agent must be sick of me as I made sure every query of mine was answered, even if it meant sending them 10 emails a day (oops). That property is your home for however long you are contracted it, so you need to feel safe, happy and welcome there. Any problems or queries should be answered by your lettings agent or landlord swiftly and any problems should be dealt with professionally. Always remember even though you don’t own the property, you still have rights.
- Take lots of pictures before you move in:
We were quite lucky as our Letting Agency did a very in-depth inventory of our property so I didn’t have to take so many pictures as I thought I would, however it’s always best to get a few snaps anyway. Take photos of any damaged items, cracks, scratches, scrapes, marks on walls/counters etc, basically anything you could be liable for when your contract is over, you don’t want your deposit to be taken away when none of the damage is your fault. Also get written permission to decorate the property e.g hanging up paintings/pictures, painting walls, changing furnishings.
- Instead of hiring a moving van, get you friends and family involved:
Moving vans are super expensive and this price increases for every day you rent it out. Instead of hiring one of these, see if any friends of family have a van or two you could use to move big furniture, also ask around if people could use their cars to shift some of the smaller items for you. We ended up using my dad’s van plus a few cars on multiple trips, but it was fun to get everyone involved in this new chapter of life.
- Price compare:
I know you probably hear this from all the supermarket adverts on TV but price comparing is honestly a life saver. I’m lucky to live in a town where most supermarkets are only about 10 mins away from eachother, so I can just drive around and find the best prices for food, kitchen/bathroom stuff, necessities etc. But if you don’t, sign up to all the online shopping for each supermarket, do your weekly shop and see which supermarket comes up cheapest. Or alternatively use websites like My Supermarket to look up deals from all the big supermarkets.
- Don’t stress and have fun:
The biggest tip of all is to not stress and have fun, this is a big chapter in life and no-one wants that to be smeared with stress. Put some music on, pack all your belongings then do the same thing when you unpack, get some friends over and have a house unpacking party and enjoy your new home.
Thanks for reading, see you all again soon!