What to consider when looking for a home to rent

What to consider when looking for a home to rent

There are many factors that go into choosing the right rental home for you, some of which you may not have considered! Even though you’ll be renting not buying, you’ll still be living in this home for a considerable amount of time, so it has to be right for you. Here’s a few things to think about before deciding on a rental home.

  • Location – do you want city centre, suburban or rural? Do you want somewhere close to work, family and friends? Location is such an important factor, just as important as the property itself, so make sure you really think about where you want to be. Tip: we have a range of homes in various different locations to suit all lifestyles and preferences.
  • House type – do you want a stylish apartment or a family home? How many bedrooms do you need? Are you living alone or sharing? Tip: we have both apartments and houses, most 1, 2 and 3 bedrooms, some new builds and some converted properties in listed buildings.
  • Facilities – does the house come with white goods? Or do you already have your own? Do you want an ensuite? Would you like a garden or balcony? What is included in the property? Tip: all of our properties come with a fitted oven/hob, and the majority also have washer/dryer and fridge/freezer, as well as carpets and blinds.
  • Local amenities – are there shops and convenience stores nearby? Do you want to be close to restaurants and bars? If you have children are there good schools? Is being near a gym and leisure facilities important to you? Do your research into the areas around the properties you’re considering. Tip: We always locate our properties in areas that are close to local amenities to ensure tenants have everything they need within a reasonable distance.
  • Transport – are there good transport links such as trains and buses? Do you want to be near the stations or is it not a key factor for you? If you have a car, is there parking? Tip: many of our properties have parking unless they are city centre, and all have great transport links.
  • Children and pets – there can sometimes be limitations if you have children or pets and some places, especially apartments are unsuitable. Tip: all of our houses allow children and pets, but most apartments do not allow them for safety reasons. Consider this when deciding on your house type.
  • Criteria – some rental properties will have criteria applicants need to meet; do you match the criteria specified if any? Tip: as we run government schemes including Affordable Rent, Market Rent and Match Deposit, these come with a list of criteria, such as income and employment, to ensure we are helping people who need it.
  • Budget – do you have a strict budget? Do you have money for the deposit? Can you afford bills on top of the rent amount? Tip: many of our homes are on the Affordable Rent Scheme, meaning the rent is 80% of the average market rent of that area. For these properties the deposit is equal to one months rent.
  • Visualise – whilst physical factors are essential, so are emotional responses, it needs to feel like your home; can you visualise yourself living here?

When you view a property there are also a few things to look out for and check – damp, mould, size, gas or electric, lights, water, security, neighbours and views from the property. Once you have decided on a property or been offered one, move fast as good rental homes go fast! Once you move in, make sure you do a property inventory, and ask these essential questions from Money Saving Expert:

  1. Where’s the mains water stopcock?
  2. Where’s the fuse box?
  3. Where are the gas and electricity meters?
  4. Which days are rubbish and recycling collected?
  5. Are there instruction manuals for any electrical items?
  6. Who supplies the gas and electricity?
  7. Where is the thermostat?
  8. What’s the landlord or letting agent’s number?
  9. Where are the TV aerial and phone line sockets?
  10. Which provider supplies the home phone and broadband?
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Affordable Rent Scheme: Part 1 – The Process

Today we have a great guest blog from our very own Lettings Administrator, Ellie! She will take you through the five step process of applying for one our homes on the Affordable Rent Scheme.

Step-by-Step guide to the Affordable Rent Scheme

At Space Property, we offer affordable housing and one of the schemes some of our properties are available on is the Affordable Rent Scheme. The rent is offered at 80% of the open-market value. The scheme is designed to help families or individuals who cannot afford to rent a property on the open market which meets their housing needs.

If you are interested in the Affordable Rent scheme and would like to apply, here’s a step-by-step breakdown of the application process:

Step 1 – Check you meet the Affordable Rent criteria and fill out an online application form If you see a property advertised on the Affordable Rent scheme and are eligible to apply, you will need to fill out a short application form online. Make sure you read all the information on the advert as you will need to select the correct scheme, housing association and development on the application in order for us to see your application at the next stage.

Step 2 – We review the applications

Each property is advertised for two weeks and there is a set deadline applications need to be completed by. After the deadline all the applications are reviewed by one of Space Property’s Lettings Co-ordinators who manage the property.

Step 3 – We allocate the property

The property is allocated to the applicant of the scheme who has the most need for it and this is worked out using a point based system. We take into consideration a number of different factors to assess housing need and financial circumstances.

Step 4 – We contact you with our decision

If you have been allocated the property, you will be contacted and offered a viewing at the property. If you have not been successful, we will contact you via email to let you know.

Step 5 – You will be invited to view and, after viewing, reserve the property

If you have been allocated the property, we will offer you a viewing. If you choose to reserve the property after viewing, you will need to pay a reservation fee of £170 (single applicants) or £220 (joint applicants) which covers the cost of an admin fee and credit check. Once the credit check has been returned and checks have been carried out at the property, we will arrange a sign in date. The bond (the equivalent of one month’s rent) and first month’s rent will need to be paid the day before the sign up.

For more information about properties available on the Affordable Rent scheme, please sign up for email alerts on www.spaceproperty.co.uk/users. Or if you have any further questions, please contact us on enquiries@spaceproperty.co.uk

Ellie will be back tomorrow with Part 2 – Application Tips!