How Much Does it Cost to Rent?

Added on October 12th 2018

It seems that the UK is no longer a nation of shopkeepers, but a nation of tenants. More than 5 million UK households are currently in rented accommodation – 20% of the population. This figure is twice what it was in 2008 and it’s set to rise further as property prices pull away from wage growth.

This 20% is comprised mostly of young professionals; they’ve finished university and are in their first job or are away from home for the first time. While it’s a rite of passage for many, it also comes with costs over and above the actual monthly rent. The bulk of these extra costs come in the first month – the deposit and tenancy fees to name but two. Here’s a closer look at these charges.

The tenant fees

Parliament introduced the Tenant Fees Bill earlier this year and so the abolition of these fees looks likely. We don’t know when this ban will come into force, though, so renters can expect to pay them for the foreseeable. There’s an admin fee to the estate agent once your offer is accepted, then there’s the cost of obtaining references, drafting a contract, credit and inventory checks and ID verification. Fees vary between agent and region, so make sure you know what they are before signing anything or making an offer.

Your deposit

You’ll need to have at least a month’s rent ready as your deposit. This sum goes into a secured deposit scheme and is returned when you leave, as long as the property is in roughly the same condition as it was when you went in! Any damages outside fair wear and tear will come out of your deposit and if you’re expected to pay for your end-of-tenancy deep clean, this could also come out of your deposit too.

Your furnishings

Rental properties are either furnished or unfurnished. If you’re moving into an unfurnished property then you’ll have to buy your own furniture and equipment, which can be expensive. If it’s a furnished place, make sure you know what’s included, right down to the toaster so that you can budget ahead.

The contract length

If your upfront costs are pretty high, then you won’t want to have to move and pay these fees all over again in a hurry, so look at how long the contract is. You can ask for a rolling contract, or a two-year agreement with a break clause so either you or the landlord can end the contract early with no penalty.

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