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New to renting?
Here’s how to get prepared!

People decide to rent property for many different reasons, they might be selling a property and want to rent in between their old house and their new house, others might be saving for a deposit. Some people just prefer having the flexibility of having a rented home and being able to move on easily. Whatever your reasons, it pays to be prepared, so below is a guide of things you might like to consider.

What type of property do I need?

First things first, if you have decided that you want to rent a property, to save wasting your time looking at properties that don’t match your needs it might be worth while sitting down and having a think about the type of property you do need:

  • Budget – Realistically, how much can you afford to pay out each month on your rent? It might be nice to dream of a large rental in a prime location, but can your budget afford that lifestyle? It’s important to factor in an allowance for bills as well, these obviously vary depending on usage/supplier but asking around friends or family with similar sized properties how much they cost to run can give you an idea of what you might need in the monthly pot.
  • How many bedrooms do I really need? – There are five of you in your family, but you’ve fallen in love with a beautiful 2 bedroom cottage, the hard truth is that some love affairs should be passed by and although you might possibly squeeze in to begin with, you will soon outgrow your space. Similarly, if you live alone and dream of having a separate room for your shoes or sports gear consider that as wonderful as this might be, each additional bedroom will increase the rent PCM so is it really worth it?
  • Is a garden important to you? – Some people live for a Friday night glass of wine on a patio in the sun, others really aren’t bothered about outside space! If you love being outdoors and it makes up a large part of who you are, no matter how nice a penthouse apartment is, you are soon going to long for a garden. Just remember though, if you are short of time, that a garden will form part of your tenancy agreement and will need to be maintained by you unless stated otherwise.
  • How long do I want to stay here? – Are you relocating to Newbury to work a short term contract? Or are you in for the long haul? It’s important to have in mind how long you are planning to stay Some properties are short term (3-6 months) only and others are long term (12+ months) minimum. Some landlords are happy to include a 6 months break clause in a tenancy agreement, this means that you will have to stay at the property for at least 6 months, but on that 6 month mark, you could, if you wanted, hand in your notice. If you choose not to hand your notice in on that 6 month mark, then you are tied in for the rest of the 12 month term unless you are able to negotiate an early release with the agent/landlord. If this is something you need to consider then it is worth asking the agent during the viewing what the landlords stance on break clauses is.
  • When do I need to move? – We recommend starting your search a maximum of 6 weeks in advance to your moving date. If you start earlier, you might potentially have to pay 2 lots of rent on 2 separate properties for a month or so as most landlords will be keen to get you in asap if the property is empty or have a quick turnaround between tenants and you might risk losing out on your dream home if you can’t move in for 2 months.
  • Can I take my pet with me? – As it currently stands, this might limit your property choices and as there are less properties that accept pets, competition for the ones that do is fierce! Always ask before viewings if pets would be considered by the landlord to avoid disappointment.
  • What about the Chaise Lounge? – Furnished or unfurnished that is the question? If you are just starting out or planning on a short term let for work, it might be worth considering a furnished property, generally there are less of these available, but they are ‘turn key’ and can be very convenient!
  • Location, location, location! – Travel to London regularly? Then considering properties close to the train station is key. Use the motorways daily then you probably would rather be near to the major road junctions. It seems obvious but settling for a place that is the other side of town to these travel links can seem great and manageable at the time but paying for parking can be costly and sitting in rush hour town traffic day in day out can eat into your commute time considerably and soon become a chore.
  • What’s around? – If you like to pop out to the shops, walk to the pub or go swimming in the leisure centre then a property closer to the town centre is possibly going to be a better option for a long term settlement. If you have children who are already at school in the area or will be attending a new school here looking at properties close by could be better for you to save on long round trip school drop offs/pick ups and to allow your children to walk or cycle themselves when they get a bit older. If you prefer trees to people and want silent nights with no outside noise and a bit of a car ride for a pint of milk doesn’t bother you, then a countryside residence might be just the thing to fill your soul!

Having these points above ironed out will hopefully help you sort the chaff from the wheat and find your potential new home quickly and efficiently within one or 2 viewings!

Get organised!

It pays to be ready to strike quickly when you find your perfect abode! The market is currently moving so fast, there is no time to waste!

  • Have your holding deposit ready – A holding deposit equates to 1 Weeks rent, the amount you will need to pay can be worked out by taking the properties rent PCM x 12 and then divide this by 52 = 1 weeks rent.
  • Ensure that you have the rest of the funds ready – moving is a costly game and you will need to pay a further 4 weeks rent to cover the rest of your security deposit on your new home plus your first months rent which is paid in advance before or on your tenancy start date.
  • If you need a Guarantor – You might need a Guarantor if you have a bad credit history or if you have been self employed for only a short time and have not yet got a years worth of books. In this case, it pays to have someone lined up and expecting contact from the referencing company. A Guarantor will need to be referenced alongside you and show proof of income and employment status. They don’t need to be living in the Newbury area, but will need to sign the Deed of Guarantee document in person at some point before your tenancy start date.
  • If you are self employed – Have your accountant get your books ready so these can be shown as proof of income.
  • If you are an employee – It might be worth just contacting your HR department and advising them to look out for your application reference request and to complete this asap to avoid hold ups.

Now you have the knowledge to start your property search we wish you the best of luck!

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