Getting your first apartment is really exciting. You get to set your own rules, decorate any way you want, and be wholly independent. At the same time, that kind of power can be terrifying if you don’t know how to live on your own, especially if you have little money or resources.
What to Know As a First-Time Renter
Most of us don’t learn how to pay our taxes, fill out a renters application, or buy renter’s insurance, and that’s okay. This article will teach you how to rent your first apartment.
1. University Towns Have Accommodations
If you’re moving out for university, or you just want to live in a busy city, consider moving to a university town. While these towns can be a bit more expensive, you’ll save a lot of money on transportation. That’s because you’ll live next to grocery stores, parks, and entertainment.
For example, Manchester is an exciting university town with a lot to do, but it can be hard to find vacancies. However, you can find plenty of Manchester apartments for rent on this site.
2. Consider Getting Renter’s Insurance
In the UK, no one can force you to take out an insurance policy as part of a tenancy agreement. This may make you want to pass it up, considering it’s another added expense you may not need. However, if you own items you can’t afford to replace, renter’s insurance can be helpful.
If a fire destroys your unit or a flood sweeps through your building, your renter’s insurance will cover the cost of your belongings. Plus, most policies cost an affordable £11 per month.
3. Save Up For a Security Deposit
Landlords will request a security deposit before you move in, which is usually the equivalent of one month’s rent. Your landlord may also ask for additional fees, like a pet deposit. These deposits are usually refundable if you keep your unit in good condition and pay your rent.
Before renting out an apartment, make sure you can save enough for the security deposit and anything else your landlord requests. Otherwise, you may miss out on a place you were eyeing.
4. Understand Your Basic Tenant Rights
All tenants have certain rights and responsibilities if they’re renting a private property. Some of these rights include living in a property that’s in a good state of repair, the ability to challenge excessively high fees and charges, and being protected from unfair eviction and rent.
Be sure to review your tenant rights when you start a new tenancy, as your landlord may use ignorance to their advantage. Complain to your local councilor if there’s a problem.
5. Renewing the Lease vs. Paying Monthly
Most apartment leases will expire after one year and be automatically renewed, but you may need to sign a new agreement if the terms of your contract change. On the other hand, your landlord may ask you to pay rent on a month-to-month basis, which provides some flexibility.
If you plan on leaving before the end of the year, a month-to-month term is best. However, some landlords will use a month-to-month term as an excuse to increase your rent, so watch out.
6. You May Not Get What You Want
Your first apartment probably won’t be as big as you want or come with new appliances, but these are minor things that can be overlooked. If you have a big pet or small children, you need to find an apartment building that’s safe, near a park or school, and capable of housing pets.
When looking for an apartment, try not to focus on what your apartment lacks. Eventually, you’ll have a stable job, plenty of money, and enough references to live in a better building.