Did you know that a fifth of households in the UK are privately rented? And with house prices rising, it means that rent rises accordingly. In somewhere like London, you can easily pay over £1500 a month to rent even a two bedroom flat. Other than it being hard to save your own money, there are quite a few benefits to renting a home. For example, you are not responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the home (as long as the destruction of which wasn’t caused by you). A new boiler, for example? Not something that you will have to buy or take care of; leave it to the landlord.
Still, even with that kind of thing in mind, it can always be a good idea to look for ways to save money when you rent a home. So if you’re going to be renting for the first time soon, or just want some tips to help, then you’ve come to the right place.
Get Contents Cover
As has been said, the home itself isn’t going to be something that is of concern to you. If the flat gets flooded because of bad weather and living by a river, then the landlord will need to have home insurance to help deal with it all. What you will have to cover, though, is the cost of your contents and belongings. This can be the case for things like burglary as well; a smashed window isn’t your issue, but getting back your things is. So as soon as you’re ready to move in, make sure that you have contents insurance. It will save you plenty of money should the worst happen (and it is pretty inexpensive in the first place).
When you are renting, the chances are that you will need to have a deposit up front of a couple of months rent, which as described above, can be quite a lot of money in some cases. If you want to move elsewhere too, it can be another lot of deposit to have, before you get your old one back. So that can be a real downside to renting. If you’ve got money saved, then great. Often family members may be able to lend it as it is money that you get back. But it could be worth looking online to compare loans if this is the route that you need to go down. As long as you’ve got a plan to pay it back as soon as you get the old deposit back, then it can help you out of a bind.
Speaking of deposits, there are so many private renters in the UK that are unaware of a tenancy deposit protection scheme that operates in England and Wales. In fact, even more renters are unlikely to even know if their deposit is protected by their landlord. If this sounds like you and it isn’t something that you’ve checked, then it is a good idea to do so sooner rather than later, as it really can help.
Under the law, your landlord has to put your deposit into one of these TDP schemes within a month of getting it. The idea is so that the money is looked after and secure, and not just theirs for a holiday. Because it is a legal requirement, if your landlord can’t provide you with details on the scheme the deposit is under, you can take them to court, where you could get a pretty hefty sum back (as well as your deposit). So it can be a quick thing to do that could pay off.
When you move into rented accommodation, the agent that looks after the property, or the landlord themselves, is likely to walk you through everything, where you and they have the chance to point things out to them. If there is a stain on the carpet, for example, take photos, make a note of it, and point it out. If this isn’t done, then a landlord could say that you caused the damage and try to charge you for it to be replaced. So take photos of things as proof, as well as do the inventory check thoroughly. It can help to save you money as time goes on.
Save on Energy Bills
Whether you rent or own a home, we all have bills to pay and need to heat our home. So even if you are renting, you are unlikely to be tied down to using one particular provider. So make sure that you are switching your energy bills as often as you can, to make sure that you are getting the best deals. Your tenancy agreement may say it prevents you from doing so. But there are regulatory bodies that say that a landlord shouldn’t stop you from doing so in an unreasonable way. So check your bills regularly, and switch when you can, so you can save more money each month.
Some rented homes come furnished, but the majority of them do not. And kitting out a whole home can cost quite a bit of money. So look for pre-loved furniture that are on sites like Gumtree, as well as on local Facebook selling groups. They may not be just the things that you want, but in an effort to save money, it gives you furniture while you save for the things that you do want. eBay can be a good site to look for a bargain too, as well as Freecycle. It is better for the environment to recycle furniture too, rather than sending them to landfill.
These are just a few of the things that you can look into to save money when you are renting. But one of the key things that ties them together is knowing what your budget is. When you know how much money you have to spend, you live within your means, and put money aside each month, it will help you to save for your dreams; whether that is for a mortgage or not.