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Renting is a very popular choice for lots of people who are moving away from home for the first time or are saving up to buy a property of their own. When you’re living in a property that you do not own it can sometimes feel like a lot of costs are out of your control but there are plenty of aspects of that you can take charge of to keep costs down.
Vik Tara, co-founder and CTO of property management platform Rentr, has been working in the lettings industry for more than 20 years and has seen almost everything when it comes to rented properties. Vik shares his top tips for keeping costs down while renting a property.
When you’re looking at a rented property be sure to ask to see the EPC. This is a compulsory document for all rented properties and will show you how energy efficient your new home really is. The scale ranges between ‘A’ and ‘G’ and, just like most things, ‘A’ is the best rating you can get and the better the rating the more energy efficient your home will be and the less money you’ll
spend on bills.
Not all rented properties come fully furnished and even the ones that do are unlikely to have every single piece of furniture you need. Many can be reluctant to splash out on furniture for rented properties because they might not see it as their permanent home. Luckily there are plenty of places you can get your hands on free or heavily discounted furniture. Take a look on websites like Preloved, Freecycle or the freebies section on GumTree - there are so many great items that people need to give away. Keep an eye out for local community notice boards as well because they often have hidden gems too.
It can be a really intimidation thing if you have a dispute with your landlord or letting agent by luckily there is lots of reliable free advice out there if you know where to find it. The Citizens Advice Bureau has a wealth of excellent advice on its website and they also have localised helplines. Shelter’s website also has a section dedicated to tenancy issues which cover a huge range of topics so there is no need to get straight on the phone to costly lawyers.
Almost everyone has a mobile phone so do you really need a landline? Of course most of us don’t. Although most broadband providers still won’t sell you a deal without line rental included you can save yourself some money and go for a deal that doesn’t include it. Virgin Media do a range of packages that don’t include line rental and can save you money too. What is the point in paying for something that you won’t use.
You might not be able to change everything in a rented property to make is as eco-friendly as you like or as financially economical as you need but one simple thing you can do to tick both of those boxes is by using LED light bulbs. Although they might cost more on the shelf, LED light bulbs can last much longer and also use less energy. So you can save money and do your bit for the environment at the same time.
So there are plenty of simple things you can do as a tenant to save money, you’re not at the mercy of your landlord. All these changes add up and soon you’ll be noticing the difference in your bank account.