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Renting a Property for the First Time

So you have decided to take that first step onto the property ladder, and want to rent somewhere for the first time. The process of renting a place for the first time can be very daunting for those who have never had to worry about renting somewhere.

First of all you are going to have to be willing to search for properties for a few months, and it is something that you should not rush into. You can start by looking at property websites like 'Find a Property' or 'Right Move' or by visiting the estate agents in the area you are looking to live.

You can sign up with the estate agents that you visit, and they will help you find a property. When viewing properties make sure you don't go alone, it will help to have someone you trust go with you so that they can help spot things you may not. Bring a checklist with you to each property you view so that you can make sure it has all the things you need, bringing a notepad will help too, so you can jot down notes, which might help later when comparing places you have seen.

Is the property you are looking to rent furnished or unfurnished? An unfurnished property is normally cheaper; however you will then need to buy furniture which clearly adds cost. There are part-furnished properties available which may be a suitable option for some. Some properties come with kitchen appliances, check when you view the property or ask what you are going to be having.

You are going to need some money saved up, renting a place can be expensive and there are a lot of things you might need to pay out for. You will need a deposit (which you will get back at the end of your tenancy), the amount you will need varies on which property you are looking to rent. You are also going to need money saved for a first monthís rent; most places will want a month upfront paid before moving in. Other than the deposit and monthís rent, you will need to have money for all the things that come with renting a place: that is bills such as council tax, electricity, gas and TV license.

So you have money saved, and you have started looking around at places... You will also need to be prepared to give references, a credit check and details of your employment. This is standard procedure, you may even need a guarantor, which is likely if you havenít rented before and donít have a great credit history.

When you find a place you want to rent, you should make sure you have checked exactly how much rent you will be paying each month. Make sure that the landlord is putting your deposit in a Tenancy Deposit Scheme, so that you donít get in trouble trying to get your deposit back when your tenancy ends.

Ensure that you have looked into any administration fees, to see how much you will be charged, and any other fees that may incur through the renting process.

It is vital you have checked and worked out how much council tax you will be paying each year. Council tax will be different, depending on the area you are in.

Work out all your utility costs, and work out what is included in your rent and what isn't.

Make sure you understand your tenancy agreement and what you can and can't do. A lot of properties donít allow pets, smokers or couples and will not allow you to change the look of the property.

When moving into the property you have opted for, try and get as much help from family and friends to save you money. If you know someone with a big car or a van they might help you transfer your stuff over, you might even know someone who's looking to get rid of some old furniture or appliances that you could have for free, always keep an eye out, as it will save you money so that paying the bills will be less stressful.

When you are finally in your new home, you might not have enough money to go out for a while, so have some dinner parties, and invite friends and family over, so that you can show them around and not feel as lonely about not going out as much.