Looking to rent - tips for dealing with lettings agent

Soldato
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I am looking to move out in 6 weeks from now with a friend for a minimum of 6 months which I may extend to a year. Having never dealt with lettings agents and having no experience of them whatsoever, I thought I would seek some tips from OcUK :p

So, what do I need to know? What costs may I encounter? I have been looking at 2 bedroom places for £650-700, besides utility bills, council tax, food etc, what else may I face in terms of costs from the actual rental of the place? Is £650-700 the true cost or could their be hidden extras?

Thanks! Just want to prepare myself so I don't come accross as a clueless idiot who can be exploited :D
 
Associate
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One tip i can give you is ALWAYS check the inventory.

Some Lettings Agents love to mark everything down as being in immacualate condition, and then of course you get money deducted from your deposit when you move out and they are described as being in poor condition
 
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Make sure if there are any defects where you are moving too, that you write it down and give the letting agents a copy becasue when you move out, they WILL point it out and say you did it and try to get some of your deposit money !!!
Even the most pathetic things, if its written down and they have a copy, they cant touch you or your money which is what they will try their hardest too do at the time of moving out.

They are nice too you know, but are evil when you leave
 
Soldato
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These unneccessary expenses I am keen to avoid. I know I have time to play with so i'm not going to make rash decisions through desperation.

Can't find much information for people renting, mainly if you are a landlord yourself.

Edit: Should have mentioned in the original post that I want some kind of shared lease where we are both accountable for ourselves rather than everything being in mine name or his. Does this complicate things?
 
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Adam said:
I am looking to move out in 6 weeks from now with a friend for a minimum of 6 months which I may extend to a year. Having never dealt with lettings agents and having no experience of them whatsoever, I thought I would seek some tips from OcUK :p

So, what do I need to know? What costs may I encounter? I have been looking at 2 bedroom places for £650-700, besides utility bills, council tax, food etc, what else may I face in terms of costs from the actual rental of the place? Is £650-700 the true cost or could their be hidden extras?

Thanks! Just want to prepare myself so I don't come accross as a clueless idiot who can be exploited :D
Expect to pay a 150% deposit, month's rent up front and agency fees of £100+. That's a good £1500 before you move in.
 
Man of Honour
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Don't use an agency there all rubbish and charge you for nothing. Look in the properties section of your local newspaper. Like the evening post, gazette or what ever you have.

Edit: Should have mentioned in the original post that I want some kind of shared lease where we are both accountable for ourselves rather than everything being in mine name or his. Does this complicate things?
For the rent it's no problem you will both have to sign anyway. For the bills it's not worth it, you can get everyones name on the bill. Much easier for one of you to do it and the other sets up a direct debit. then just print out a letter saying you both split all bills 50/50 and both sign it.

For private lettings deposit it's usually a month in advance.
 
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AcidHell2 said:
Don't use an agency there all rubbish and charge you for nothing.
That's fine in theory but, at least where I live, most properties are let through agents so you have little choice but to deal with the scumsuckers.
 
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dirtydog said:
That's fine in theory but, at least where I live, most properties are let through agents so you have little choice but to deal with the scumsuckers.

are you sure, on the surface it often looks like that, but have a look in papers and on websites like gumtree.
 
Soldato
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rayer said:
Make sure if there are any defects where you are moving too, that you write it down and give the letting agents a copy becasue when you move out, they WILL point it out and say you did it and try to get some of your deposit money !!!
Even the most pathetic things, if its written down and they have a copy, they cant touch you or your money which is what they will try their hardest too do at the time of moving out.

They are nice too you know, but are evil when you leave

Agree with this.

When you come to move out they will make up anything they possibly can to keep as much of your deposit as possible. Typically they will say that they had to get professional cleaners in and it cost them £xxx, no matter how clean you leave the place.

Basically be prepared for them to try and hump you out of as much of your deposit as they can.
 
Soldato
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Cheers for the advice guys :)

So if a property is £700PCM, is this truly £700PCM or may there be additional charges on top?

My wish list for my place is as follows:

  • 10-15 mins walking distance from the station
  • Clean
  • Modern
  • At least 1-2 parking spaces

Not asking too much am I?
 
Soldato
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Check the boiler, and ask when the last time it was serviced and the last time it broke down.

Also ask if there was a problem how quick is the turnaround for fixing it and it it their responsibility or the owner (some will fix it without owners consent, some have to ask and it can take a while)

This applies for everything really, but heating is very important especially in old spacious housing.

1st flat i rented we were without heating for nearly two weeks, and because of that we ended up with a £300 electricity bill using electric heaters.

Inv check is standard, but you get a few days to check things, i'd take your time with it, and you'll always spot something too late.
 
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Adam said:
Cheers for the advice guys :)

So if a property is £700PCM, is this truly £700PCM or may there be additional charges on top?

My wish list for my place is as follows:

  • 10-15 mins walking distance from the station
  • Clean
  • Modern
  • At least 1-2 parking spaces

Not asking too much am I?
So long as you're not renting in London then that should be fine. There won't be any charges on top except up-front fees as said previously.
 
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