With more and more people renting a property across the UK, ARLA Propertymark (the Association of Residential Letting Agents) is helping tenants understand the complexities of renting in this day and age.
According to ARLA Propertymark’s latest Private Rented Sector Report, the number of tenants looking for a new home has increased every month since May this year.
With more people looking for guidance on renting a property, the organisation has compiled a list of the five things that tenants might not know about being a renter…
Switch and save
If you’re paying the energy bills in your property, you have the power to switch suppliers. You can often find a cheaper fixed tariff if you shop around, so it’s worth putting in the time to do so.
Double-check your tenancy agreement, however, as some contracts include a clause that means you must inform the landlord.
5 Things You May Not Know about Renting a Property
Landlords usually aren’t happy for their tenants to start redecorating their properties, but there’s no harm in asking. You need to seek permission to install extra shelving, hang things on the walls, or anything that could potentially damage the property. You’d also need to ask if you’d like to paint anything, or replace the units, etc.
There are, however, lots of things that you can do to make a rental property feel like a home without your landlord’s permission. An eye-catching floor lamp, for instance, can instantly perk up a drab living room, while laying down rugs helps you personalise your space. You could also buy cushions and throws, and make sure that you always have a vase full of fresh flowers on the kitchen table.
Letting with a pet
If you have a pet, it’s really important to be upfront about it when you’re looking for a property. Some landlords won’t allow them at all, but many will be fine with pets if you pay a higher deposit to cover any potential damage – just make sure that this is clearly stated in your contract if you agree to it.
If you find a property and the landlord won’t allow pets at all, your letting agent can help you find another suitable one.
Cannabis is illegal in the UK, and there will likely be consequences if you’re caught smoking it behind closed doors. There is usually a specific clause in tenancy agreements that says tenants must not consume illegal substances at the property, and, subject to the landlord’s consent, most contracts prohibit any smoking at all.
Running a business
Although it is legal to run a business from a residential property, you must ask your landlord for permission if you want to do so, but, remember, there are various things that they will need to consider before agreeing. They would probably have to inform their mortgage provider, as well as getting permission from the freeholder if the property is in a block of flats. They would also need to update their insurance and make sure that they are not breaking any licensing conditions that the local authority has placed on the property.
General wear and tear could also be an issue if the business wasn’t just desk-based, and the landlord must ensure that the business wouldn’t disturb the neighbours if people are coming and going throughout the day.
Peter Savage, the President of ARLA Propertymark, says: “Finding a rental property can be a stressful task, especially if you’re unfamiliar with all the clauses in your tenancy agreement, but it can also be really exciting.
“The most important thing to remember is that, once you sign the tenancy agreement and move in, you’re still bound by it. While most landlords are very willing to negotiate, these discussions do need to take place and you should never assume your landlord won’t mind without some sort of commitment in writing. Letting agents can help you both with understanding the small print in your contract and by helping you negotiate directly with the landlord.”