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BoominProperty AdviceRentingFirst-Time Renter? Here’s What You Need to Know

First-Time Renter? Here’s What You Need to Know

No rental history? No problem. Whether you’re stepping out on your own or moving in with friends, take a look at what you need to know when renting for the first time.

Faye deGavre


Feb 26, 2021


7 min read

First-Time Renter? Here’s What You Need to Know

Renting your first home or flat is a natural stepping stone for everyone, whether you’ve just graduated from university, secured your first ‘real’ job, or are leaving your parents’ place. The freedom of moving out on your own is exciting, albeit daunting to navigate at first. From searching for a home to rent to understanding your tenant responsibilities, there’s a lot to think about. With a little help from this guide, you’ll feel more confident and less stressed about this major milestone.

How to rent a property for the first time

Budget accordingly

Before searching for houses to rent, you need to know your budget. Start with a figure in mind to narrow down your search of suitable spaces, whether that’s a studio, one-bed flat or a room in a shared house. While you’ll want to keep an eye on the PCM rent (per calendar month), there are other costs to consider.

Keep in mind that you’ll need to budget for utility bills, council tax, broadband, TV licence, food and more. You’ll need to consider all of your outgoings when making the move to rent.

Don’t forget that many properties require a rental deposit or a holding fee on the property. If you’re moving in with a pet, you may be subject to higher deposits.

Prepare for checks

Your prospective new landlord will want to make sure that you are a suitable tenant and that you have the ability to pay your rent. The following may be requested by the Letting Agent:

  • References from your previous landlord. If you’re a first-time renter, you may be asked to give details of where you’ve lived for the last three years.
  • A credit check. This will allow them to see if you have a good history of paying bills on time.
  • A reference from your employer. Details of your employment, including your employer name, job title, payroll number, salary and previous employer will show the landlord you have the means to pay rent.

Secure a guarantor (if needed)

If you haven’t rented before, you might be asked to provide a guarantor. This is someone who agrees to pay the rent if you don’t. Who can be a guarantor for renting? You could ask your parents or someone else in your family to do this or, if you don’t have anyone suitable, visit Rent Guarantor to apply for assistance. Asking yourself, "Do I need a guarantor to rent?"? Tenants who are renting for the first time, those who have a poor credit score, and private rental sector (PRS) tenants will often require a guarantor. 

It’s worth bearing in mind that a landlord has the right to request a rent guarantor whenever they think there is a risk that the new tenant might not pay their rent as and when they should.

Start your search

Finding your first rental doesn’t have to be difficult. By using filters to narrow down your budget, location and property features, you can find your next home quickly. On Boomin, you can also book viewings at any time, day or night, 24/7.

Ask questions in the viewing

Once you’ve booked your viewing online, pay attention to the condition of the property and determine if the space is suitable for your needs. Don’t hesitate to ask questions. It’s good to know everything before you sign on the dotted line. Are you allowed to hang things on the wall? Where are the recycling facilities? Does it come with a dedicated parking space? These are some of the more forgotten but important questions to ask when renting a house.

Sort out the bills and insurance

If you’re sharing your new rental space with other people, make sure you establish from the outset who is responsible for paying each bill. 

Notify the utility companies and give them meter readings, your tenancy start date and the names of all the tenants. With Boomin Priorities, you can compare utility suppliers all in one place to help save you time and money.

Also, make sure you have contents insurance. While the landlord is required to insure the building and their own contents, you will need coverage to protect your belongings.

Register for council tax

Unless it’s included in your rent, you’re in full-time education or you’re otherwise exempt, you’ll need to pay council tax. Register by contacting your local council or find out more on the government website.

Get a TV licence

If you plan to watch TV live or through BBC iPlayer, you’ll need to purchase a TV licence. To register for a licence, visit the TV licensing website.

Organise your move

It’s no secret that moving can be stressful, especially for a first-time renter. However, preparation is key. Secure a move-in date with the agent, start packing and schedule a mover if you can’t round up friends and family to help. Remember to set up utilities and change your address in advance.

Check the inventory

The inventory for rental property is a list of everything that is provided with the space, such as furniture, blinds, appliances, carpets and more. It records the condition of the property, for example, if there’s wear and tear to the appliances or stains on the carpet. If you disagree with anything on the inventory, let your landlord or agent know right away as it will impact how much of your deposit you get back at the end of the tenancy. A good rule of thumb is to take plenty of pictures as soon as you get the keys so that you can’t be held accountable for prior damage.

Furnish your rental space on a budget

Moving out on your own as a first-time renter requires an investment in new furniture and essential household items – unless the place comes fully furnished. Fortunately, you don’t have to break the bank to make your first rental property feel more like home. With Property Playground, you can spark inspiration, find affordable home décor and connect with professionals to make it all come together. It’s the place to make your new property your perfect home.

Your rental property search starts here

As a first-time renter, you can use this guide to help you land the right space for you. Looking for a house or flat to rent? Whether you’re stepping out on your own or are a seasoned renter who knows exactly what to expect, Boomin makes it easy to find your next rental property. 

Our advanced property site offers a wide range of suitable spaces, and you can be the first to know about hot properties coming to the market as well as those not yet listed. From a simple one-bedroom flat to a five-bed pad with all the included amenities, you can book viewings online 24/7 through trusted and experienced Letting Agents. Search for properties to rent today.

Faye deGavre

Content Writer