Cross & Prior
Established Since 1910

0208 715 0555

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Renting Advice

 

Find the perfect home!

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When renting a property there are many things for you to consider and understand before and during your tenancy, but the process sometimes may not be as simple as you would have hoped. Consequently, if you choose the right property and agent, your rental experience can be a happy one. Whereas, take the wrong route and your proposed tenancy can lead to long delays.

Cross & Prior recognise that almost everyone ends up renting a home at some point in their lives, yet when it comes to help and advice tenants can often be neglected, which is why we provide expert advice to assist you in finding somewhere that allows you to feel comfortable, safe and at home, to ensure your next renting experience is rather more welcoming, rewarding and stress free.

  Research the area   Assess your budget


  Deciding where you wish to spend the next period of your life
  is one of the biggest parts of searching for your new rented
  home, and the location you choose will not only determine
  your happiness and peace of mind, but will also have a great
  impact on the type of property you are able to rent within
  your budget.

  When choosing an area to rent in, you need to establish what
  major factors are really important to you, and consider your
  priorities with regard to public transport, local facilities and
  nearby schools, as getting the location right is absolutely
  paramount because it will ultimately determine how long you
  stay in your new found home.

  In order to get it right, or as right as is possible, you should
  spend plenty of time doing your own research, figure out the
  specific area that appeals to you, and find out as much
  information about it as you can. Generally, the more flexible
  you can be about where you live, the better your chance of
  finding your ‘perfect property’.


  Before you start your property search, it is essential that you
  consider how much rent you will be able afford to pay every
  month for the period of the tenancy, take into account any
  other financial commitments you have, and try to establish
  whether any changes to your future circumstances could
  affect your ability to pay your rent.

  Working out and sticking to a maximum budget is important
  to ensure you are not overstretching yourself and your
  finances. If in doubt it is always better to over-estimate rather
  than under-estimate your regular monthly outgoings, to make
  sure that you will have enough money to live comfortable
  after you have paid your rent and bills.

  When setting your budget, you should ascertain the other
  costs you will be committing to when agreeing to rent a
  property, including: council tax, utility bills, broadband and a
  TV license. Remember that you will also need to have extra
  funds available up front to pay a deposit and the first month
  rent in advance, before you commit yourself.

 
  Find the right property   Check the agent fees


  When it comes to finding the ideal property to rent, timing is
  everything. For instance, knowing when to begin your search
  is only the first step, as the majority of properties are available
  either immediately or within one month, hence we suggest
  that the best time to start looking is approximately 4-5 weeks
  before you need to move. 

  The lettings market moves very fast, so when the right
  property does come along you will want to act immediately. If
  you will be living with more than one person, we recommend,
  whenever possible, that all prospective tenants attend the
  viewing, since this will allow you to make a quick decision and
  reduce the risk of loosing out to another applicant.

  Another key factor to remember is to raise any requests when
  you decide to take the property, so that everything can be
  agreed at the beginning. Our best advice is to be prepared to
  compromise as there is always the chance that you may not
  get everything you want, this will also help in setting the tone
  for a smooth tenancy going forward. 

 
  When you first contact a letting agent, you should always get
  clear information about what and how much they will charge
  you as a tenant, in the way of their fees, in addition to the
  deposit and rent. Typically agency fees are normally charged
  for: credit reference checks, administration, and contribution
  towards an inventory check.

  Fees can vary tremendously, and you might be surprised to
  discover that some agents will charge unsuspecting tenants
  hundreds of pounds for drawing up a tenancy agreement,
  and each subsequent time the tenancy is renewed. Thus, it
  is always wise to compare agency fees, and if you think the
  fees are too high, go elsewhere.

  Sadly ramping up non-optional fees has now becoming a
  sharp practice by many lettings agents in the rental market
  in certain areas of the capital and other major cities in the UK,
  so it is really important for you to chose an agent who is an
  active member of a Redress Scheme such as ‘The Property
  Ombudsman
’ (TPO) to ensure you are fully protected. 

 
  Know your rights & obligations   Look after the property


  As a tenant, you may think that you do not have any risks or
  duties when you live in a rented home, or your landlord is
  always right as the owner of the property. But the truth is that
  a tenancy does not just give you rights but it also brings
  responsibilities, so it is necessary to understand what these
  are before moving into a new place.

  The first thing to do is to check your tenancy agreement, if
  there is anything you are not sure of, it is worthwhile to take
  time and seek guidance prior to moving in. Remember, you
  have a duty of care to use the property in a responsible way,
  pay the rent in full and on time and adhere to the tenancy
  terms – ignoring this could result in loosing your home.

  As well as keeping to the terms of your agreement, you are
  also responsible for the behaviour of everyone in your
  household and your visitors, to make sure that they do not
  cause nuisance or annoyance to your neighbours, as
  antisocial behaviour is a legal reason that can almost certainly
  lead to eviction, regardless of what kind of tenancy you have.

 
  One of the most important elements of renting a property is
  to take care of the place as best you can, keep it reasonably
  clean and avoid causing damage from misuse or negligence.
  It is your duty to ensure you return the property in the same
  condition as when it was first let to you, failure to do so could
  result in your deposit being held in dispute.

  Although your landlord has a legal responsibility to maintain
  the property, you need to carry out some minor maintenance
  yourself, such as changing light bulbs, replacing smoke alarm
  batteries, bleeding radiators etc. However, if something stops
  working or any repair works are required, you should notify
  your landlord or managing agent as soon as possible.

  Bear in mind that if you wish to redecorate the property,
  remove any fixtures or fittings, or make any other permanent
  changes, you should obtain permission, in writing, from your
  landlord or agent first. If you do not gain consent, you may well
  be required to return the property back to its original condition
  - which can add unnecessary cost and stress.

 

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