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Rental Advice and Tips | LIFESTYLE

Happy Monday to you all!  Today we're going to be chatting about the rental market and my top four nuggets of advice for those looking to get into it following my experience.  The property market can be a nightmare when you first get stuck in, but with a little reading and strategising you can hit jackpot quickly and with minimal fuss.
I hope the below are helpful, if you have any questions please feel free to ask in the comments!

Know your market
The West Midlands is one of the most robust property markets in the country at the moment, showing an annual growth in rental agreement costs, for this reason it's super important you need to know just what your cash gets you.  When we're looking to move a property our search starts twelve months beforehand, we start perusing online property sites (such as Rightmove and Zoopla) to ascertain how much our desired property type is going for in the area - this gives us an idea of budget to firstly find out if our aspirations of moving into that 7 bed guesthouse are realistic or whether we have to downgrade to a two bed flat for financial reasons.  
Once we have this in our mind, we start to book viewings to get a real feel of the properties.  Anyone can make a photo look good with the right lighting and angle, so visiting the house you've been eyeing up seems a good idea.  After all that, ureka - you've found a property, now it's time to sign those papers and get your keys!

Know your rights
Tenants and landlord rights are a hot topic, make sure you've read up and know where you stand.  However, be careful with a little bit of knowledge - the estate agents will be the experts, challenge if you think they may be pushing their luck or not following the rules, but don't be that hot headed woman screeching at a man in a tartan tie in the estates office about deposit schemes.   

Sometimes the checks are a pain, but its worth it.
Great, you've found your new home - now it's time to make sure that the landlord finds you trustworthy to enter his property.  The endless reams of paper and contracts to sign which always end up in delays moving in may seem a real pain in the backside but would you let someone you didn't know move into your £150,000 house?  
The screening process eliminates the troublesome tenants, so whilst you may your rent on time every month and not keep the neighbours up with your hardcore rock tunes blaring out until 4AM, Joe Bloggs who applied before may have and was denied - leaving you to rent the property.  
Part of most rental agreements also insist of annual or six monthly inspections of the property, these always make me feel like I was being 'checked on' but recent events in my own home have taught me otherwise.  On a recent inspection we flagged up a wet patch on the carpet to our landlord which actually led to a discovery of a much bigger issue of damp underneath our floorboards so it was a good job we reported it! 
Try to see it sunny side up when you're getting frustrated!

It's OK if the shower breaks!
The beauty of being a private tenant is if the boiler goes bang or the roof falls in then you are not responsible for getting it fixed, it's on the landlord.  Most landlords will have insurance on their property (landlord insurance can be found here) and will simply claim for major incidents, you don't need to worry about finding that cash to fix the hole in the roof. 

Hopefully that will help any of you looking to rent on the market soon, as well as if you're looking to buy to let.  Home let have this fab little booklet packed with landlord advice available from today so click here if you would like to read it!  

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