Private Landlords create a fast-growing sector in the UK. Many tenants are renting or planning to rent from them to avoid agency costs. However, renting direct from the landlord has some advantages and disadvantages like any other option. Let’s check them first, before you make that decision.
Advantages and disadvantages of renting from private landlords
- no additional fees – cheaper option than agency
- rents might be cheaper as well
- possible are flexible deposit arrangements
- tenancy length may be signed for a fixed-term or left open-ended
- you can move in very quickly if the property is available
- most landlords will not ask for your credit check
- meeting the landlord, creating good relations and communication can help you get what you want
- bad relations and communication can make it difficult to live in a property
- Private landlords may lack of Landlord Law knowledge, which may lead to negligence of their responsibilities and cause problems between you and your Landlord
- no secure tenure
- dealing with repairs may take longer
Renting from a private landlord can be really beneficial for you if you choose wisely. So, before you start searching, prepare all questions you would like to ask them. Prepare also all your documentation so you can be ready for any questions about your situation as well.
Questions to ask a private landlord and things to check
There are some things you should check before you make your decision.
It’s important to ask for:
- costs of rent, deposit or bills and payment methods (online method is the best way to pay as it is a proof for you of when you pay and how much)
- your deposit – whether it will be secured in one of Deposit Protection Schemes
- possible moving day, length of tenancy and notice period
- rules for children, pets, smokers, DSS and any other topics important to you
- subletting the property and on what conditions you can do this
- removing any furnishing that you don’t want or changing anything in the property that you would like to change
- Gas Safety Certificate, Energy Performance Certificate and Electrical Safety, Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms.
- the switch of gas and water supply in case of emergency
- the location of gas, water, electricity meter
- condition of the property: mould, keeping the temperature, noise, security, hygiene, etc.
Think also about any other questions that you would like to ask your landlord. It’s better to ask before you make your decision that regret it later.
Documents to prepare
Prepare all documentation earlier, so you have it ready to show to a landlord as soon as you like a property. It will reduce your waiting time.
- ID, Driving Licence or Passport to prove your identity
- documents to prove your rights to live and rent in the UK. All documents that can be a proof for this you can find here.
- references from previous landlords or previous tenancy agreements with bank statements showing that you were paying on time
- documents to prove your employment status and financial situation: a contract or letter from your employer, payslips bank statements for self-employed, awards letters if you are on benefits, etc. Landlord may ask you for a permission to run your credit check as well.
- a letter from a Guarantor if your financial situation is not very good or you are renting for the first time
- 2-character references, as a proof that you are a reliable person, if you cannot provide any other letters
Searching for private landlords
Search on property websites with adding private landlords wherever it is necessary to narrow your results.
You can find properies from private landlords on:
- Durham Key Options
- Facebook Group – Private rentals in the UK, Private landlords, no agency fees
Check websites connected to the specific area that you are planning to move. Some source of private adverts can be also local newspapers, windows in local shops or notice boards in other places.
Choosing a property and signing tenancy agreement
Be ready to view many properties before you choose the right one. When you find the one that you really like, check it carefully. Discuss all important topics with your landlord as well. After that you can offer your documentation to review and wait. When you both are happy it’s time to prepare and sign the agreement. Landlord is going to prepare it for you but you have to make sure that all that you have discussed is included in your tenancy agreement. There must be: your and landlord’s details, property address, price, deposit, start and end date of your tenancy, notice period, your and landlord’s responsibilities as well as any relevant additional topics like e.g. pets.
Everything is sorted out: you have chosen a property, signed the agreement and decided about your moving date. Now you can pack all your belongings and choose a removal company. If you need any advice for packing and moving read our article: Home Removal – Useful Tips. If you need a help with removal job Vezahra | Removals & Storage is happy to help you as well. Contact us to get a free quotation. You can also find a local removal company or check website like: CompareMyMove to choose one from 6 recommended removals.
Good Luck with your Property Search!!!
Additional websites worth checking: