How to rent your first apartment

Renting your first apartment should be an exciting experience. We take a look at everything you need to consider before taking the plunge.

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Renting your first apartment can be an exciting experience. However, it’s important to make the right choices and understand your rights and responsibilities. We take a look at how to rent your first apartment and considerations you might need to make.

How do I rent an apartment for the first time?

Since you will be renting your first apartment, it might be wise to seek some guidance. Letting agencies could be an excellent place to start.

You may need to have unlimited rights to rent an apartment. Landlords have the right to prevent any disqualified person from renting their properties. People with unlimited rights to rent are those that:

  • Are British, EEA and Swiss nationals
  • Have the right to reside in the UK
  • Have been granted indefinite leave to remain
  • Don’t have a time limit on their stay in the UK

You may also need to provide various documents. Landlords require proof of identity, character and employment. Of course, you have to show that you can pay rent for the apartment during the tenancy period.

The landlord will require some time to verify your documents, after which you can sign the tenancy agreement. Before signing, it’s a good idea to read and understand the agreement. If something is not clear, ask the landlord for clarification.

Signing the tenancy agreement and making the required payments marks the beginning of your tenancy period.

How much should I save for my first apartment?

Several factors can influence the amount you need to save to rent your first apartment.

1. Where you want to live

Due to the varying demand for property and cost of living in different places around the UK, rent may differ. This means that there isn’t a standard amount that you can save for your first apartment. It will be important to do some research to find out how much it will cost to rent where you want to live.

It might also be wise to find out all the costs involved in renting. You may discover that on top of the rent required, there are a number of permitted fees, including a security deposit and a month’s rent in advance.

2. Your income

It is easy to fall into the trap of paying more rent than you can comfortably afford. This can lead to far-reaching consequences, and you might get evicted. Consider following the 50-30-20 rule and accessing professional guidance from financial advisers and letting agents before committing to a tenancy.

3. The size of the apartment you want to rent

Naturally, the size of the property you want to rent will have an impact on costs. Larger properties typically come with larger price tags.

Even if your income is sufficient to rent a bigger, more expensive apartment, it might be wiser to rent a cheaper one. Consider factors like whether you actually need the extra rooms or bedrooms. If you don’t, renting a more affordable apartment and investing the extra cash might be more prudent.

What documents will I need to rent my first apartment?

It’s a good idea to reach out to your landlord to establish what they need. Ask questions to establish what’s expected of you. Your landlord should provide information to help you make the necessary arrangements.

Based on the landlord’s responses and your unique circumstances, you can ask follow-up questions to help make your renting and moving process stress-free.

The landlord may ask for:

  • A valid passport, driving licence or UK visa if you are from abroad
  • A letter from your employer, payslips for the last three to six months, your employment contract or tax return for the most recent tax year
  • Bank statements if you are self-employed

When the landlord determines you are an eligible tenant, they will give further instructions.