Tenants can only pay what they can afford

publication date: Sep 3, 2012
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books

Tenants can only pay what they can afford

From a tenant perspective, it's a good time to rent a property if you haven't before. The important thing to be aware of is that rents are likely to rise over the coming year. So if you find a property you like and a good landlord or letting agent, establish yourself as a good tenant as soon as you can. 

If you leave renting a property to the New Year, it's likely rents could start rising by then, so it's much better to try and secure a property now and establish yourself as a good tenant than wait until you have to compete harder for a property.  

Don't believe all the noise in the media about ‘evil landlords' who will throw you out in return for higher paying tenants. This can happen, but it's more likely to make the news than it is happen to you. If you are a good tenant that takes care of the property, pay your rent on time and be reasonable about maintenance requests, it's cheaper and more sensible for the landlord to keep you in the property than let it out to a tenant they don't know.

Tips for renting from a good landlord or letting agent 

  1. Make sure the letting agent you use is a member of NALS or ARLA 
  2. If your landlord is renting to you privately, check they are members of a landlord association or a local authority accreditation scheme, such as the Residential Landlord Association 
  3. Never rent a property without your deposit being protected in a government approved Tenancy Deposit Scheme 
  4. Make sure you check how much your utility bills will be via the Energy Performance Certificate
  5. Ask to see relevant gas and ideally electrical safety certificates

If you are already renting, it's likely you haven't seen that many rental rises and the reports aren't reflective of what you are paying now. As such, you need to consider whether it's worth moving in the current market as you could have to pay more for a similar property in a similar area.

If on the other hand, you are struggling with rising rents, then it may be worth considering moving to a cheaper area while you can and prices haven't risen beyond your means. That way you will hopefully be able to secure rents at a lower cost than you may have to pay in six to twelve months time. 

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