Top 5 tips for renters: what to know when looking for a new to-let property

Renting a home advice from Dales & Peaks in Derbyshire

When signing a tenancy agreement check, it has a home contents list, property maintenance details and the notice period you must give. - Credit: Dales & Peaks

Whether you’re a first-time renter, looking to relocate, or even downsize, there are some key things to know when hunting for your next rental property.

To help start your house-hunting journey, we chat to Tom Currey from Dales & Peaks Estate Agents in Chesterfield, who shares his top tips on how to find your ideal home in Derbyshire.

1. Decide what your rented house needs

Ask yourself who will live in the home, how many bedrooms you need and what amenities must be close by.

“You should also decide if you need a furnished or unfurnished house. This will help you find a rented property that suits you,” Tom says.

Make moving house easy with rental guidance with Dales & Peaks Estate Agents in Derbyshire

Moving house is one of the most stressful things you can do, but finding the right estate agent can make the process easier. - Credit: Dales & Peaks

As a local, family-owned estate agent, Dales & Peaks can provide information on nearby schools, transport links and attractions to help you pick an ideal location.

“Once we’ve gathered your details, we’ll match your needs against all available properties in the area and will let you know what we’ve found,” Tom explains. “We can then arrange a viewing at a time that works for you.

“We can schedule viewings on evenings and weekends for convenience, as we know that taking time out from work may not be an option.”

2. Plan your budget before starting your property search

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It’s a good idea to assess your current earnings and outgoings to decipher what you can afford to pay in rent per month. This will help you narrow down your search.

“Don’t forget to factor in monthly expenses such as utility bills, council tax and TV license fees,” Tom adds. “This will give you a realistic idea of your budget.”

3. Choose between using a letting management agency or renting privately

There are many ways to search for your next home and find a landlord, but it’s important you choose a person you can trust, as this will be someone you’ll have an established relationship with for the duration of your tenancy.

Must-have rental home features from Dales & Peaks Estate Agents in Chesterfield

Consider what features your new to-let property must-have, whether it's garden space, a home office or spare bedroom. - Credit: Dales & Peaks

“There are many benefits to finding rented homes through an estate agent,” Tom says. “We will ensure the property is in good condition before you move in, all necessary appliance and electrical checks are completed and the landlord maintains the house and completes any repairs promptly.”

This can offer you peace of mind and take some of the stress out of moving house.

4. Consider if you want a short-term or long-term let

You can choose a short-term let, long-term or renewable tenancy. Depending on your situation, this will determine which is best for you.

Dales & Peaks offer several homes available for short-term letting, with a minimum of three-months. The homes are fully furnished, managed and utility bills are incorporated into the rent.

Rental guidance and advice from Dales & Peaks Estate Agents in Chesterfield, Derbyshire

Up until moving day, and afterwards, you can rely on Dales & Peaks Estate Agents to provide the advice you need to guide you through the rental process. - Credit: Dales & Peaks

“These homes are ideal for people who are working locally temporarily, or who are looking for a house to buy in the area. We also offer long-term contracts for those hoping to find a home they can settle in.”

5. Know your rights as a renter

It’s important to read through every element of your tenant’s agreement to make sure you fully understand your rights.

“Your contract should detail what costs your rent covers, an inventory of everything in the property, and property maintenance details such as if smoking and pets are permitted, and what notice period you must give if moving out,” Tom says.

If you’re moving into a HMO (house of multiple occupancies) you may need to sign a joint tenancy.

“A joint tenancy means everyone living in the house shares equal responsibility for paying rent and looking after the home. If one person cannot pay rent one month, it is up to everyone else to meet the payment requirements,” Tom says.

“Therefore, it’s important to understand what you’re signing. I always advise speaking with one of our tenancy experts beforehand, to help you make your decision.”

Moving house is one of the most stressful processes you can go through, but by planning your move, finding the right estate agent and thinking ahead, you can make it much easier.

“From making your first enquiry with us until moving day, and afterwards, our knowledgeable, friendly team will be on hand to guide you through the renting process and help you find a home that’s perfect for you,” Tom explains.

Dales & Peaks is an independent estate agency that operates throughout Derbyshire and the Peak District. They can assist you in your hunt to find a new home, whether you’re interested in buying, renting, or selling.

Visit dalesandpeaks.co.uk for more information. Call 01246 567 540 or email info@dalesandpeaks.co.uk.