10 tips for renting in Brighton
Brighton is an amazing place to live. With the Laines, the beach, the coffee shops and the music scene, is it any wonder that so many people lust to live in this fantastic city? You can leave your house any day of the week and be sure to find something fantastic to do without much effort. When it comes to finding a flat to rent, however, things can get a bit tricky.
Whether you’re already living in Brighton and looking to move to a new place, or are toying with the idea of taking the plunge to join us in beautiful Brighton, it pays (literally!) to be mindful of the fundamentals. We’ve put together a quick guide complete with the tips, tricks and important questions to ask in order to save some money (for the coffee shops, of course) and your sanity when renting in Brighton.
1. Check out the agency’s fees before you look at their properties
Some agencies charge up to £400 just for the admin fee! Not all agencies do this, so make sure to shop around and see who has the best value. By law, agencies must display all of their fees. If the agency you’re going with does have fees, make sure to factor this into your moving costs.
2. Do they have hidden extra costs?
Their fees might look good at a glance, but what about when it comes to doing the inventory – are they going to charge you? Will you be hit with a cost to renew your tenancy? Will you have to pay for the check out when you move out? If you find a new property, will they charge to write you a reference? Look at the big picture.
3. Look out for offers
During down-times (mostly winter), agencies often put offers on, ranging from no agency fees to one week rent free. This could potentially save you hundreds of pounds. Shop around!
4. Make an offer
Don’t be scared to make an offer on a property – the worst they can do is say no! Just remember, if it’s £1000 per month, try offering £950, that’s a saving of £600 per year! It all adds up quickly…
5. Ask questions
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Remember, you are going to be living there. How are the neighbours? Was the previous tenant here for long? These are all useful things to know.
6. Take a good sniff when you walk in the door
Unfortunately, the construction and close proximity to the sea often means that a lot of the older properties are prone to condensation problems. Be careful to look out for damp issues and ensure these will be fixed prior to moving in. Try to get something in writing before signing up for anything.
7. Who is your landlord?
Find out who/what your landlord is. Is it a sole property owner who might need to move back in in six months’ time? Is it an investment company? Do they have a good reputation? The agency might be good as gold, but being stuck with a terrible landlord is not fun for anyone.
8. Protect your deposit
By law, your deposit must be logged with one of these companies: The Deposit Protection Service, my Deposits or the Tenancy Deposit Scheme. They all operate slightly differently so get all the information from your agent/landlord beforehand.
9. Move at the right time
Summer is always the busiest time of year with students snapping up properties quickly. Therefore, the rent prices always rise around this time. By waiting a few months you could save yourself hundreds of pounds.
10. Trust your gut instinct
This is the most important one: if you get a negative gut feeling about something, trust your instincts. Most of the time we’re right about these things. This place is going to be your home.
For more information about renting in England, see the Government’s How to Rent leaflet here.
Written by Kimberley Steele