17th August 2015
It has long been stated that moving home is one of life’s most stressful undertakings. As such it is vital to take into account every expense when it comes to paying for your rented home.
Being hit by unanticipated or higher than planned costs can really add to the stress of a house move – and with a rented property, these costs can swiftly add up.
Nick Hill, of the government backed Money Advice Service said: “Putting a little time aside to plan ahead and confirm everything you’ll need to pay can be a really sensible move and help avoid any nasty surprises. It makes sense to do this before committing to the move to ensure you’ll have enough.
“If you need to save up for the move, our budget planner is a really useful tool which shows you how much you have left over after you’ve paid all your important bills and costs – which then gives you a good idea of how long you’ll need to save for to cover your moving costs.”
Hill’s top tips when renting a home:
1. Calculate how much rent you can afford: Look at all your outgoings to gain an understanding on how much rent you can afford to pay each month. Remember that renting involves having to pay other bills on top, so take into consideration common household bills such as council tax, gas and electricity, TV licence and water bills as well as service charge depending on the building. If you’re not sure what the bills will be, ask previous tenants or the landlord for estimates to give you a better idea. Also factor in other upfront costs that you will incur on signing the contract, such as agency fees, removal fees and new furniture costs.
2. Save for your deposit and make sure it’s protected: One of the biggest costs can be the deposit, which can be between four to six weeks’ rent – so most people will need to save up for this. Also check that your deposit will be protected. If you’re signing onto an ‘assured shorthold tenancy’ your landlord must put the deposit in a protection scheme. Make sure you understand any conditions you need to meet to get your deposit back, such as if the carpets need to be deep-cleaned or you need to pass an inventory check. Providing you haven’t caused any damage to the house, you should get this back at the end of your tenancy.
3. Minimise your ongoing costs: Moving in is your opportunity to make sure your ongoing costs are not stopping you from saving up for the fun stuff like going on holiday. Shopping around for the best deal can make a big difference. If you’re not sure where to start, go to the Money Advice Service website for a list of comparison sites to help you.
4. Pay your bills on time: To avoid gaining a bad credit rating, make sure you’re financially able to pay bills in your name on time. Create a list of key bills you and your housemates need to budget for and keep it in the kitchen, as this could serve as a reminder to people for the month ahead. You could also consider setting up a Direct Debit to help prevent you from missing payments.