Unlike the previous generations when buying a house was done by every young couple, nowadays it’s difficult to afford to buy any type of property as the prices surpass salaries. Therefore, people started to live on rent for many years until they could afford their own house. This is not the only benefit of rent. You might have access to amenities, you won’t have to pay real estate taxes, and you’ll have more flexibility regarding where to live.
In the UK, the share of tenants has increased in the past years, reaching a proportion of 34.8%. Worldwide, house prices have grown faster than incomes and rents in most countries, while global house prices kept rising through the pandemic. Of course, these prices are influenced by many factors, such as location, rent levels, and cost of borrowing. Therefore, if you want to buy a house in the future, consider future price changes. But if you choose to live on rent for the first time, here’s what to expect.
Know your responsibilities
As a tenant, you should be able to follow two of the most basic rules when renting out a property: to maintain cleanliness and pay the rent on time. You might need to obey other rules, depending on the landlord’s wishes, like not smoking inside the apartment or no pets allowed. These rules can be changed and adapted as both of you want, but you must comply. Otherwise, you might be evicted if you:
- Damage the property
- Commit illegal acts inside the property
- Interfere with the right of other tenants or the landlord
- Refuse to move out at the end of the tenancy
So, if you want to keep your place, make sure you’re following the rules agreed upon, and maintain the property as much as possible. Try to dispose of your rubbish correctly and respect sleeping hours. Don’t forget to report anything that your landlord needs to check. Otherwise, current issues might worsen, and you’ll need to move out. Having a good relationship with the landlord is best because you might get price benefits and other advantages.
What are your landlord’s obligations?
Anyone who’s renting out their property can be a landlord. It has become quite common for people to do this, especially if they’re out of the country but don’t want to sell their property. But just because they’re leaving the house to you, that doesn’t mean they’re not responsible for it anymore. Therefore, a landlord has the following obligations:
- To keep your property safe and free from health hazards
- To make sure the gas and electricity are safe, installed, and maintained (at least once a year or when necessary)
- To provide an Energy Performance Certificate for the property that contains information about its energy use and typical energy costs
- To protect your deposit in a TDP scheme (tenancy deposit protection) to ensure that you’ll get the deposit back at the end of the tenancy period
If your landlord fails to provide any of these obligations, and that leads to you being injured, you can sue them by making a compensation claim. According to how-to-sue.co.uk, you’re eligible to get compensation if you can prove that your landlord breached their duty of care and, resulting in physical damage. For example, a gas leak can cause respiratory problems, which can lead to breathing difficulties. If you can prove that your landlord hasn’t made the regular check-ups and ignored your requests regarding gas problems, you can get compensation up to £54,830.
Learn how to store and organize your belongings
Your first flat may not be the most spacious place you’ve ever lived, and you’ll need to organize your clothes and belongings so you won’t clutter the whole property. We know it’s a burden to carry your things from home to your new place, but you need to sort them out and take only what’s necessary.
You’ll notice after some time that buying new clothes, devices, and much more will eventually pile up, and you’ll need to make another trip back home to bring back unnecessary things. But it depends if you’ve rented an empty property or are already provided with the basic stuff (bed, refrigerator, stove). If your first flat is unequipped, you’ll need to look for what you need. A good piece of advice is to invest less in the beginning in these things because you can change the property’s layout and decorations in time when you’ll be more stable. If your space is already cramped, it would be best to get storage bins and place them under the bed or in other places where you can’t see them.
Ending your tenancy
If you want to move out for certain reasons, you must do it properly, which means that you need to follow some practices and avoid leaving out of nowhere, as your landlord might not give you a good reference for the future. Therefore, keep in mind that in order to end your responsibility for the rent, you need to notify the landlord about your decision and pay the rent that month. Otherwise, you won’t get your deposit back.
Your landlord could keep your deposit to cover any unpaid rent, property damages, or the costs of finding new tenants if you left early. Keep in mind that if you owe them money, you might be at risk of being taken to court.
If you want to end a fixed-term early, you need to use a break clause in your contract or talk to your landlord to see if negotiating is possible. Secondly, if you want to end a periodic tenancy, you can give a legal notice to quit or make an agreement with your landlord. This applies if you already left and want to end your liability for rent.
In conclusion, there are many things you need to consider and take accountability for. You need to be prepared to behave in a certain way, not create problems for your landlord or neighbors, and adapt your renting plans to your budget and future arrangements.