The number of people who are choosing to rent rather than to buy is rapidly growing, with PwC predicting that 7.2 million households will be in rented accommodation by 2025, compared to the 5.4 million that were recorded a few years ago in 2015.
As the economy wobbles and mortgage lenders tighten requirements, would-be first-time buyers are instead renting for longer to save up the funds that will allow them to eventually make that first purchase. This makes the rental market a challenging one for different reasons, but as with most things, if you’re well prepared to tackle those challenges you’ll find things a lot easier. So, below is an overview of what you can expect to face so that the rental market doesn’t overwhelm you.
The fact that renting is or can be temporary may be viewed as a downside, but on the flip side, the beauty of it is that you can make sure the property you choose suits your lifestyle right now. Make a list of all the things you most want from the property to benefit the life you’re currently leading and narrow down your search to properties that appear to most fit the bill. It’s important to remember that finding the absolute perfect rental home for you may be a challenge, so think about the things you simply must-have and the things you may be willing to compromise on.
Many people choose to live in flat shares while renting as they are usually more affordable and they’re also a great way to meet new people and kick-start or expand your social life. Despite this, they can still be a challenge - especially if you’re not the biggest fan of the flat mate in the next room! To counter this in the best way possible, you could try arranging to meet your potential flatmates before signing the contract. You’d be surprised at how many people move into a flat share without any idea as to who they’ll be living with.
You may not be able to tell in such a short space of time exactly how you’ll get on, but you can look for signs. It also gives you an opportunity to ask them questions and gauge the atmosphere of the property and its occupants, learn about how bills are split and discover just how clean the place is in a normal environment that isn’t prepped for viewings.
The rental market is a fast-mover, so you must be proactive in your search. Make sure you set aside time for viewings and ask the letting agent to show you other similar properties that may be of interest so that you have a range of choices to compare. Once you’ve decided a property is suitable and meets your needs, act quickly and put in an offer as soon as possible. Putting things off for a day or two could very easily see you miss out on that rental property.
Being prepared for the next few steps will also serve you well, such as ensuring deposit funds and previous references are readily available. This will make the next part of the rental process run smoothly and will put you in a strong position to secure the property.
Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 it’s now a legal requirement for all letting and managing agents in Wales and England to publicise details of their fees. Be sure to take note of the fees before going on viewings so that you’re aware of how much you’ll have to pay should you choose a property with that letting agent.
The rental deposit is there to cover the landlord should the tenant miss any rent payments or cause damage to their property. They are typically the equivalent of one or two months’ rent but do check in advance so you can save the amount.
The deposit must be legally put into a deposit protection scheme, so also check this before signing any contracts. If the property is then looked after and all rental payments are made on time and in full, you can expect to receive your deposit back at the end of the tenancy without any issues.
It’s always a good idea for a tenant to take out home contents insurance to cover the cost of their belongings should something unfortunate happen. If you’re renting a shared property you can still get home contents insurance but find out from the insurance provider exactly what needs to be done to ensure you are covered. Buildings insurance is likely to be covered by the landlord but check this beforehand.
If you need help and advice finding the ideal rental property in Cardiff, then contact our expert lettings team today. We have three branches across Cardiff so couldn’t be better placed to help you with your search. You can either pop in and see us, call us on 02920 668585, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.