Do you have what it takes to get through renting property? You might be surprised by the drawbacks, have to pay hidden costs, or run into problems with your landlord. By having a well-rounded understanding of renting, you can enhance your experience and make the most out of it.
What Are the Benefits of Renting?
As opposed to buying, many people talk about renting unfavourably, which gives you a skewed view of it. When you live on a rented property, you enjoy:
- Lower monthly costs
- No maintenance costs
- No homeowners/fire insurance
- No property taxes
- No down payment
- Saving money for other investments
- More freedom to move around
- More freedom to downsize for affordable housing options
- Access to amenities, such as pools and fitness centres
- Fixed rent payments
Understanding the downsides of rental properties will help you determine if they’re the right fit for you and prepare you to overcome them. They are as follows:
- No tax write-offs
- No equity buildup
- Reduced sense of stability
- Restrictions because of contract terms
We can broadly classify rental properties according to the type of usage into commercial and residential properties.
Yes, it is. You may already own residential properties but not necessarily. You can use the commercial property as an office, retail centre, warehouse, or other institutional, cultural or industrial spaces.
Yes, in fact, your landlord will be renting out their residential property to you so that you can live on it. Familiarise yourself with the renting regulations, including fire, safety, health, and financial regulations.
You should be able to differentiate between rental property types to decide on the right place. Here are the main kinds of renting:
AST is when the property is your main accommodation (with a tenancy starting before 15 January 1989), and only a private landlord or housing association owns it and doesn’t live on it.
- More security and rights than other types
- The landlord protects the deposit given in a deposit protection scheme
- Your landlord can evict you on a fixed term with a break clause (due to section 21)
As opposed to renting from a big company, in this type of renting, your landlord is a private property owner.
- Easier, friendlier, and faster communication because you only contact one person
- Fewer restrictions than large property management companies
- More privacy and no shared property
- Requires more upkeep to keep the tenancy
- Fewer amenities
This renting type is when a landlord hires a third party (the letting agent) to be a point of contact for tenants and handle finances.
- You can raise any complaints about their service to the redress scheme by law
- More rental property options
- May slow down communication about the service by adding another layer
Housing associations are non-profit organisations that typically work with local councils to provide affordable rental units for people with housing needs.
- You can buy your rental property discounted with ‘right to buy’ schemes
- Significantly cheaper than other options
- Well-built and maintained properties
- Tons of paperwork
The local government offers council housing, renting out homes on a non-profit basis for those who need it.
- Even cheaper than housing association rentals
- You may have access to benefit or universal credit to cover the rent
- You can buy the property with a ‘right to buy’ scheme
- Not enough options due to the decreasing number of council homes under the ‘right to buy’ scheme
A serviced apartment is an alternative to regular hotels and apartments when you need accommodation temporarily.
- Furnished with state-of-the-art amenities
- Bigger than standard apartments and hotels
- Available in all sizes
- Limited control over the decor
- Not available for single nights like hotels
As the name implies, you rent this property for a specific residential use, vacationing.
- Allows you to live like a local
- May include amenities and board games for your entertainment
- Private and spacious
- Less expensive than hotel rooms
- Unlike hotels, you have to clean, cook, and more
You may rent a room in a house with its owners or share a flat with other mates.
- Making connections
- Reduced rental costs
- Lack of privacy
- Sharing and fighting over facilities
- Less space
Shared accommodation means that two or more people live on the same property.
- Making friends
- Splitting rent-related costs with others
- Gaining more independence as a young person
- No privacy
- Shared facilities
- Potentially dealing with bad roommates
- Limited space
A rule of thumb is to limit your rental expenditure to 30% of your gross monthly income at the maximum. The prices differ by region. According to a report by Statistica, it costs about £1,150 to rent in the East, £958 to rent in the North West, £1,277 to rent in the South East, and £1,113 to rent in the South West.
Several factors affect rental prices in most areas, such as interest rates, inflation, affordability, infrastructure, government taxes, and the balance between supply and demand. Other factors include:
- Population density
- Property age
- Facilities and features
- Number of bedrooms
- Type of renting
Yes, your landlord might expect you to cover other expenses, including:
- Security deposit
- Tenancy or holding deposit
- Late payment penalties (if you’re 14 days late or more)
- Utilities and bills
- Council tax
- TV licence
- Keylock replacement costs
- Early tenancy termination fees
- Repair fees
- Fees for adding a housemate
- Furniture costs
Ask your landlord to walk you through all the associated costs and get them in writing. This way, you can avoid hidden costs and unpleasant surprises.
You know if you’re getting a good deal based on the research and preparation you have done before renting a property. Here’s what you should look out for in a good rental deal:
- New or newly renovated building
- Low taxes
- No hidden fees
- The property is in a neighbourhood you like
Check that a rental property has the following:
- No visible noise concerns (like kids or pets)
- Safety, such as gated entry and alarm systems
- Air conditioning/heating
- Enough storage
It depends on the tenancy agreement terms. Typically, landlords are responsible for home repairs and maintenance, including roof leaks, wind damage, and broken appliances. You call them, and they fix it. However, they may hold you liable for the damage you cause (depending on your contract).
You should know the most common concerns and arguments that arise while renting. This knowledge will help you evade or tackle them efficiently.
Tenants may claim that they’ve honoured the terms of the tenancy agreement, while landlords may believe that some breaches justify their keeping the deposit fully or partially. Examples include:
- Unpaid rent or bills
- Direct damage to the property, such as holes, cracks, burns, and scratches
- Missing property contents
- Damage due to misuse
Landlords and tenants might fight over required home maintenance and repairs, as the landlord might take too long to fix an issue like:
- Plumbing failure
- Roof leaks
- Damaged windows
- Broken appliances
Rent arrears refer to the money you owe your landlord if you fail to pay your rent.
- Court-ordered evictions
- Failure to claim housing benefits
Your landlord might decide to raise your rent, which could spark a dispute, and their reasoning for increasing the rent may be as follows:
- High housing demand
- Property tax increase
- Making up for the rent they’ve lost during the pandemic
If one party violates the terms of the rental contract, this breach can cause a disagreement between the landlord and tenant, such as:
- Failure to pay rent
- Landlords not making the necessary repairs
- Misuse of the property
- Property damage
- Negligence of the property
The period leading up to or after the lease term end may include disputes over renewals and terminations. Common reasons may be as follows:
- The landlord not wanting to renew the lease term
- The tenant wanting to terminate the lease term early
- The landlord not giving the tenant enough time to find alternative housing arrangements
You may not see eye to eye with your landlord over the condition of the property, with them claiming that you caused damage to the property. Here are a few examples:
- Not reporting damages to your landlord
- Proving whether the damage occurred during your tenancy term or not
- Proving whether the damage is due to misuse or negligence or simple wear and tear
- Proving whether the landlord is required to make minor repairs or not
A bad landlord might harass tenants in numerous ways, creating an unsafe environment for them, which can look like:
- Withholding amenities and services that used to be allowed
- Displaying biases and prejudices against you
- Entering the property with no notice or cause (usually more than once)
- Disrupting your life with loud noises, throwing trash, or else
- Threatening you with financial or physical harm
Landlords must adhere to some regulations, including:
- Fire safety measures
- Health and safety inspections
- Tax and National Insurance Payment
- Deposit Return (if there are no contract breaches)
- No unjustifiable evictions or unreasonable rents
- Documenting tenancies over three years in a written agreement
- Procuring an Energy Performance Certificate
- Giving a 24-hour notice before property inspections and visiting at a reasonable hour (unless it’s an emergency)
- Conducting needed repairs
As for you, you’ll be responsible for the following as a tenant:
- Preserving the property
- Paying rent in full and on time (along with other agreed-upon costs)
- Following other rules as stated in your contract
You should always keep up with new laws and regulations to ensure that you don’t face court action.
There’s no one-size-fits-all best place for renting. It depends on your needs and priorities. So, if you’re looking for the best prices, you should look at the North East, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Yorkshire & The Humber, and the North West.
In terms of air quality, the best places are in Midlothian, Lanarkshire, and Perthshire in Scotland, Gwynedd in Wales, and Wiltshire and Berkshire in England. If you’re career-driven, the best places to rent are Sheffield, Glasgow, Liverpool, and Bristol.
As for growth, it’s tricky because a property growing in value benefits the owner over the tenant. Still, you may want to secure a rental unit in an area that other renters will probably be fighting over soon enough, in which case you should rent in Scotland or the North of England.
If you want to live somewhere with the best public transportation, you should try London or Edinburgh. For parents, you’ll find the best schools in Rutland, Cumbria, and Herefordshire. Finally, you may care about lifestyle, which is why you should consider renting in Cardiff, Belfast, or Manchester.
The difference is linguistic, with the two words referring to the actions of tenants and landlords. Renting is what the tenant does: paying a sum to live on a landlord’s property. Letting is the opposite: enabling a tenant to live on your property if they pay you money.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to determine your best renting options and even whether you should rent or not.
By determining how much you can afford to pay, which renting type accommodates your needs, making the most out of the property, handling drawbacks effectively, and understanding tenancy regulations, you can have a successful tenancy. Finally, you can contact us for any maintenance work that will improve the property.