Living on your own for the first time can be tough. Renting from someone else is the norm for most people, and there are plenty of horror stories out there about nightmare landlords. However, there are certain tenant rights that you should be aware of, as well as some responsibilities that you have too.
By knowing your rights and how you can protect yourself, as well as what you agree to when you become a tenant, you can avoid many of the potential problems that can occur.
Here are some of the things that you can do to help yourself as a first-time tenant.
Get Contents Insurance
Your landlord is responsible for taking care of many of the things in and around the property. For example, it’s probably their job to fix the boiler or the roof. However, it’s not their job to look after your possessions.
HomeLet Tenant’s Insurance team say: If someone were to break in or even someone you lived with were to steal something from you, it’s probably not your landlord’s responsibility to pay for it. Instead, you should get contents insurance for your things. This will help to protect them if they’re stolen or damaged. In particular, it pays to have valuable items like electronics insured.
Sort Out Your Budget
Budgeting well is essential, whether you rent or own your home. By having a solid and affordable budget to follow, you can make sure you pay your rent on time each month. Of course, there are other expenses to take care of too, including utilities, food, council tax, and more.
Ideally, you would spend no more than a third of your net income on your rent. If you need advice on putting a budget together, you can find plenty of advice online or see a professional who can give you budget advice.
Be a Responsible House/Flatmate
Living with other people can be tricky, particularly if you didn’t know them before moving in. Sometimes, you might also live with your landlord, which can complicate things too. It’s important to be aware of what sharing a property entails so that you can avoid fights and falling out with the people you live with.
It’s important for everyone to pull their weight and help out with caring for the property. You need to help with cleaning and maintenance, and fulfill your promises if you agree to a cooking rota too.
Comb Over Your Lease
Before you sign a lease for a tenancy, make sure you know what’s in it. It’s easy to simply sign without reading, but it’s essential to know what you’re agreeing to.
Start by checking for the basics, such as how much rent you will be paying, how you will pay it, and when. Check who is responsible for certain things, such as maintenance of the property or paying for utilities. Check clauses for renewals and when the lease runs out, as well as whether you’re allowed to sublet, have visitors, and have pets.
It’s important to do what you can to protect yourself as a tenant. Being a good tenant can help you to find good landlords.