Costs of private renting

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Rent

The rent is usually the largest expense that comes with private renting. What you pay as rent will depend on the area and type of property you live in. Rent is usually paid in advance i.e. at the beginning of the month. The date when the rent is due is stated in the tenancy agreement. If you need assistance paying your rent, you can claim housing benefit or universal credit in some areas. These benefits will only cover a part of your rent and you have to find the funds to cover the balance.

Security Deposit

You will almost assuredly be asked to pay a security deposit by your landlord before you move in. This is usually equal to a one month’s rent but can sometimes be more. Security deposits are refundable at the end of the tenancy period however, the landlord is allowed to make reasonable deductions from the deposit to cover any damages or unpaid rent. If you’re in an assured shorthold tenancy agreement, the security deposit must be placed in a tenant deposit scheme that’s government approved.

Advance Rent

You may be asked to pay some rent in advance before moving in. This is usually one month’s rent but might be more. If you have been claiming income support or income based job seeker’s allowance for a period of 6 months or longer, you can apply for a budgeting loan to help you pay the advance rent.

Letting agency fees

If you’re finding and renting a home through a letting agency, you will have to pay some money to cover administration fees, credit checks and reference checks. Fees will vary depending on the agency in question. Agencies are required to display all associated fees and charges on their websites. Check to see how much you’ll be paying. You may also be charged for a right to rent immigration check. You should not be charged just to view property.

Cost of Moving

You may need some help to move so budget for the cost of hiring a van or a removal company. You will also need boxes and tape for packaging. If the place you’re moving to is unfurnished, ensure you budget for the necessary furniture and appliances.

Council Tax

In most cases, if you’re renting a house or a flat, you’ll be required to pay a council tax directly to your local council. The type of property you’re living in, the number of occupants and the area in which the house is located will all determine how much council tax you’ll be paying. Ask the landlord or letting agent about the amount of council tax you’ll be paying. There are situations which may qualify you for a lower council tax such as being a low-income earner or a pensioner.

Utility Costs

You’ll need money to cover the cost of utilities such as electricity, gas, water, telephone etc. There are various deals that you can choose from so you can choose the one that best fits your pocket. You may also have to pay a service charge for maintenance of communal amenities.

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