Be excited by renting a new place. And enjoy your time in your rental home by freeing yourself from financial pressures. Get organised from the start.
Firstly, it’s best to calculate your monthly budget on any property you’re considering, just so you know whether it’s affordable or not. You’ll need to pay household bills and keep on good terms with your landlord.
If you’re renting your first house, you’ll have some up-front costs. The deposit can include up to the equivalent of three months’ rent. There’ll be an estate agent’s fee and a credit check. Rightmove and other property websites usually display these costs if you’re searching online.
Check the house’s inventory with the landlord. That way you know if you need to buy any furniture, bedding, a television, kitchenware or any other essentials before you move in.
If you’re moving in with others, draw up a plan to meet your outgoings. You’ll need to collectively pay for:
- Rent (monthly)
- Council Tax (usually paid monthly)
- Gas and electricity bills (paid either by a pre-payment meter, monthly by Direct Debit or quarterly)
- Water bills (usually paid monthly)
- TV licence (monthly, quarterly or annually)
- Contents insurance (paid monthly or annually)
- Landline phone bill (plus any connection charges – can be paid quarterly or monthly)
Build a spreadsheet so you can all refer to a system for paying shared bills. Designate a person who collects an agreed monthly fund from all of your housemates by standing order, so they can set up Direct Debit payments to pay the various bills. You will get better deals with energy companies with Direct Debit, for example, and peace of mind that you’re not defaulting on any payments.
Be aware that missing a payment or failing to pay a bill on time can earn you a bad credit rating, making it more difficult for you to borrow money in the future. Like getting a personal loan to buy a car or a mortgage to buy a house. Even if the bill isn’t only in your name and you paid your share. Non-payment can result in your heating or your phone line getting cut off or in the case of Council Tax or your TV license, a court summons.
Shelter has a useful budget calculator you can find here on its website: http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/downloads_and_tools/budget_calculator
Remember, if you need any more advice and you’re looking for houses for rent in Swindon, give us a call here at Moovahome.