Moving to a new city or striking out on your own can be a daunting prospect, but never fear! We’re here to lend you a helping hand and get you well on your way to finding your new home.
Finding a place
Things to keep an eye on in London are:
- Transport connections – the place you are looking at might be great but if it’s going to take you over an hour and four different connections to get there, you may want to try to find something more convenient.
- Nearby conveniences – when you are considering a property have a nose around the area and take note of where the nearest shops are and how large they are so you know what you’ll be able to get hold of easily.
- Things to do in the area – if you’re a foodie, check out the restaurants. If you go to the cinema all the time make sure there is a good one in your area or it’s easy to travel to one. If you’re a night owl check out the nightlife. Basically just think about what you want to do regularly and make sure the area will be able to provide that.
Type of Contract
Once you have found the place you need to move on to the bureaucracy. Be aware of what type of contract you are entering into, this is especially important if you plan on moving with a group.
An individual contract is a separate agreement between each individual tenant and the landlord. This would mean that you would not be liable for any of your flatmates’ late or missed payments or if they leave.
A joint contract means that all tenants are rolled into one collective contract and the group as a whole is responsible to ensuring that payments are complete and on time.
Things to check in the contract
Make sure that every tenant thoroughly reads the contract and checks a few points:
- The start and end date of the contract
- The names of every tenant (ensure these are spelt correctly)
- The obligations whilst renting the property. It is essential to know what you can and can’t do whilst renting the property, as well as this, you may be expected to keep the garden in order or not wear shoes in the house (all of this is worth checking beforehand)
- The amount of rent and deposit. It goes without saying that you should make sure the amount you were expecting to pay is what is on the contract but also double check the date you are expected to pay it in each month.
A deposit is normally around one month’s rent (you can check in our contract) and will be registered with a government backed DPS and will be collected prior to the start of your tenancy. With DPS you can rely on your deposit being protected throughout your tenancy.
Depending on what your relative income is compared to the amount you will be paying in rent you may be asked to find a guarantor. Generally, if your collective household income is less than 30x the rent you will be paying you will be required to have a guarantor. A guarantor is someone who will be required to pay for any rent which you do not provide.
This is a checklist of all the the items listed as part of the property as well as a copy of any pre-existing damage or marks. This is something for you to compare against when you move out of the property and make sure that there is no new damage or missing items from the original inventory.
Finally it’s time to move in! It can be very tricky taking items of furniture on London transport and we wouldn’t recommend trying anything more inconvenient than a large suitcase so it is worth booking a moving van or renting one yourself for a few hours to move everything. If you’re moving from outside the city there are some handy delivery companies who will take your items before you leave and then you can nominate the day they will arrive at your new property.
Now all that’s left is for you to settle in and enjoy your new home!