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Seven Super Tips for People Looking to Rent Property in West London

The Office of National Statistics states that 36% of households in England and Wales were rented rather than owner-occupied in 2011. That’s a trend that has increased over the past five years.

I speak with many prospective tenants who look for places to rent in Chiswick and west London and here are seven super tips I give all of them. It makes their lives easier and means my landlords know that any tenants that come their way are fully aware of the process and obligations involved in renting privately.

1. Work out what you can afford

How much can you afford without putting undue pressure on your monthly income? Don’t forget to take into account utility bills, living expenses and council tax. In addition, you will need to budget typically five to six weeks’ rent as the amount to be put down as security deposit for the length of the tenancy.

2. Finding a suitable home to rent

We’ve blogged about this before and as we’re specialists in west London and Chiswick we genuinely believe it’s the best part of the capital to live in. Make sure the property fits your lifestyle.

As ARLA registered letting agents our landlords and tenants have total piece of mind that they are dealing with professionals.

We’re here to help and encourage prospective tenants to ask any questions that they have as this will help them choose the right property for them.

3. Applying for a property you want to rent

Once you’ve found a property you like you’ll be asked for a holding deposit while formalities and checks are carried out. The checks include credit history, immigration status, employment and previous rental history.

If all the checks come through ok a contract to lease the property will be drawn up for you to look at and make sure you’re happy with it.

4. The deposit, inventories and monthly payments

Arrangements will now be made for you to sign the contact (often called the Tenancy Agreement) as well as make payment of the final amounts due in order to get the tenancy started. This will be the first rental payment, the deposit and any administration charges. (Admin charges can vary in amount but at Express Property Services we will always make the amount clear from the start of your interest in the property.)

An inventory protects you and the landlord. We use an experienced company to carry these out on our behalf and will arrange a professional inventory clerk to be present at the property for handover of keys and completion of the check-in report.

At this point it’s a good idea to set up a standing order to pay your monthly rent.

5. At the end of the tenancy

When the tenancy period is nearing its end, you can ask if the landlord will agree to renew the tenancy (the amount of the rent may change and there may be some administration charges to pay) or you can leave the property. Arrange to move out by the agreed time on the agreed day.

Make sure the property is clean and tidy and in at least the same condition as when you moved in. On the moving day, the inventory should be checked at the property by the landlord or their agent, with you in attendance, and it should be signed off by you as correct before you vacate. Take a note of the meter readings for gas and electricity and apply for final billing. Don’t forget to arrange with Royal Mail to redirect mail to your new address (ensure the redirection is specifically for mail in your name).

6. Repaying your deposit

Shortly after you move out, you will receive an account from the landlord or their agent detailing the charges for dilapidations, if any, that you agreed when the inventory was reviewed during the check-out. Providing you agree the amounts, the balance of your deposit should be returned without delay.

As I’ve said before it’s important you go into becoming a private tenant with your eyes wide open and feeling fully informed.

If you have any questions about the lettings process whatsoever please do not hesitate to contact me.

Thanks for reading,