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First Time Renting

Top Tips for Renting in England

March 2022

Finding your perfect rental property can be a tricky job — especially in attractive areas where you have to act fast. It’s good to know a thing or two about the renting process because it’ll allow you to be quicker than other renters. 

We have prepared you articles which explained the renting process (access here), focused on the deposits in detail (access here) and went over the tenancy agreements (access here). 

This article is focused on the little tricks you can try as it will make your life a little bit easier when searching for that dream property.

See the property in person

It goes without saying that you must view the property before signing a contract. Estate agents have a thing for wide-lense cameras so a room might look massive in a photo, but it might be a disappointment in person!

Another thing is damp. You can’t check for mould in the bathroom or damp and condensation on the windows without viewing the property in person. You could also check the water pressure and how the toilet flushes! It might sound silly to you, but checking plumbing and electric works in older properties is a must! 

For newer buildings, we recommend having a go at knocking at walls, especially if you’re viewing a built-for-renters block of flats. Unfortunately, most often than not, greedy landlords want to make profit by compromising on the quality of materials and you don’t want to hear every word your neighbour says. 

Alerts 

Nearly everyone uses Zoopla and RightMove, let’s be honest. So, in order to keep up with the demand, you need to set up alerts for new properties. That way, you can phone as soon as a flat has been published and get a viewing. 

It is very unlikely you’d be able to get a viewing on property that has been listed for more than a few days and if you are – something could be wrong with that flat so beware! 

If you don’t think you have the time to keep checking new listings and ringing agents, why not let Repit do that job for you? Tell us what flat you want, and we will organise your viewings and take care of your paperwork and offer. Check our website here for more info. 

Pets 

It is nearly impossible to see a rental listing that allows pets in the rental. We all can understand why — no landlord wants their carpets and furniture damaged by claws and paws. However, asking never hurt anybody. So, if you found that perfect flat but your furry one would not be allowed in, just ask! 

Landlords might not be super happy about dogs, especially big ones, but a house-trained indoor cat, guinea pig or a goldfish is likely to be a yes! 

Aleksandra Pitula
Photo by Christian Vasile.

Crime rate

Pretty flats in affordable areas are great and we all love it, but safety first. You can check the crime rate in the area by using the police area checker. Alternatively, if you’re looking to live in London, you can have a look at this checker for crime as well as noise, air quality and schools.

If you are looking to rent in London, we have compiled a list of the cheapest boroughs where we also discuss crime rates in those areas — click here to access the article. 

Air quality and noise 

We’d all love our flat to comprise both the quietness of English countryside whilst being within a stone’s throw from the hustle and bustle of London. Unfortunately, it’s highly unlikely for such a combination to exist! 

So, we recommend checking your new flat-to-be in this noise and air quality viewer to get an idea of what the traffic is like around the flat. 

Another useful tip is to walk around the future house at different times of the day. If the neighbours are noisy in the afternoons or evenings, you’ll be able to hear it from standing on the street. Better to know it before you sign a tenancy agreement! 

You could also have a look whether any windows look onto a high street or a street with a few bus routes. Unfortunately, if it’s a bus route that means increased traffic so the noise levels will be higher.

In the police area checker before, you can see what crimes people report and zoom up to your closest area. If there’s been a lot of anti-social behaviour reported, you can expect a few parties and shouting around there!

Schools 

Might not be an immediate thought for people who are not parents, but really it affects both groups. You can check and compare schools in the area by using this government website. 

Alternatively, you could have a look at this school and nursery checker where you can filter whether schools are over/undersubscribed for new applicants as well as the ratings.

If you’re a parent, obviously you want to be close to a nice school, don’t you? 

However, as a non-parent, if your flat is close to a school, you’ll soon realise the morning and afternoon traffic. Whilst it is not the end of the world, it could become a little nuisance if you’re driving late for work!  

Moreover, flats which are within a good school’s area are likely to be more expensive due to the demand for parents to be near it. Another reason to check schools even as a non-parent!

Need more help?

As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider when renting! Sometimes you must compromise on certain things, but being aware of the little things will equip you to make an informed decision. 

If you want Repit to take care of your property search, all that checking and ringing and booking viewings, we are more than happy to relieve you of that admin burden and take you straight to the viewings. 

You can pick a few parameters in our onboarding quiz and we can help you balance those to keep your search flexible whilst getting the best rental deal for you.

Sign up on our website and we’ll take care of the rest for you.

Photo by Paul Hanaoka.

Credits

Aleksandra Pitula
Social Media Manager

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