Experts have revealed the best ways for renters to save money as bills rise across the UK.
Quotezone, which offers insurance comparison services, has shared its top suggestions for renters to avoid losing money.
The company noted that the number of UK households renting has nearly doubled since 2000, now being more than 19 per cent.
The national average asking price for rent (outside London) has also reached a new record of £1,190 a month, making it more difficult for renters to save money.
The tips include knowing your rights as a renter, getting renter’s insurance and taking inventory when you move in.
1. Think about your amenities
If you’re searching for a new rental property, it is important to think about amenities within the total monthly cost. Think about what is important to you, for example if a gym, parking space or onsite washer and dryers are included within the tenancy. This can help you make a more informed decision about where to live based on the benefits provided by the building. What will work out cheaper for you over time?
2. Pay on time
Failing to pay rent on time to your landlord can negatively impact your credit score and make it harder for you to get a mortgage in the future. It could also cost you financially, with some landlords charging a late fee of anywhere up to hundreds of pounds per day. In an emergency, if you are unable to pay rent on time you must let your landlord or management agency know immediately, they may be able to support you with some flexibility if you have a payment plan thought out.
3. Consider a roommate
To share housing costs and help to increase your disposable income each month, you may want to consider taking on a roommate. Before doing so, make sure to discuss it with your landlord to ensure you are not in breach of your tenancy agreement. Make sure there is a written agreement to decide how rent and utility payments will be divided.
4. Know your rights
One of the best ways to keep your money safe while renting is to know your rights, this is especially important with so many being affected by rent increases since the pandemic. There should usually be a month’s notice in place for any price increases on rent. The amount landlords can increase the rent depends on your agreement but they must be fair, realistic and in line with other properties in the area. The price can only be increased once per year. Knowing this can save you from agreeing to an unfair rent price hike, remember you can negotiate.
5. Do an inventory
When moving into a new rental property, it is important to do a sweeping inventory of the space, taking photos and videos of its current condition and highlighting anything which needs the landlords immediate attention. Remember landlords cannot make deductions for fair wear and tear, having date and time-stamped content of damage is the best way to ensure you are not blamed for prior issues when it comes to the end of your lease. Problems such as damp walls and mould will need to be addressed immediately for health reasons and to prevent it growing into a more serious issue.
6. Keep it clean
It sounds obvious but, make sure to thoroughly clean and remove all belongings from the house to avoid being charged fees or having part of your deposit withheld for cleaning purposes. Keeping a good standard of cleanliness throughout the tenancy will stand you in good stead as landlords can inspect the property regularly to ensure it is being looked after.
7. Report damage
If an accident happens in a rented property which leads to damage of the space or any furniture owned by the landlord, it is important to notify them straight away. Contacting your landlord or property management agency as soon as something goes wrong can help to safeguard your deposit and avoid any further damage.
8. Tenants’ insurance
Tenants/renters’ insurance covers your items against theft and damage such as furniture, electrical equipment – anything you can take with you when you move - it also covers fire, floods and water damage. It’s important to check your tenancy agreement, some landlords insist you have tenants insurance as part of the agreement and even tenants liability coverage if you’re renting a furnished property, to protect the landlords belongings as well. Also check if accidental damage is part of your policy or if you need to add it as an extra.