Moving into a new home can be an incredibly exciting time, but there will also be a lot that you will need to consider, especially if this will be your first time renting. You may have a budget in mind, or you might not really know what you can afford. If you are looking to start renting, make sure to read on to find out more about how much it really costs to rent.
The bulk of your budget will be taken up by your rent payments. Of course, how much you pay depends on the type of property you are looking to rent. If you opt for a bedroom in a shared house, your cost will be significantly lower than someone renting a 3-bedroom semi-detached property.
There are additional costs that you will have to pay upfront when you begin your rental agreement, so it is essential that you take these into account when you are considering your budget. These costs include:
- Deposit (often the cost of the monthly rent payments)
- Agency fees (these cover our costs for reference and credit checks etc)
If you’re unsure of how much you can afford to spend on rent, it’s worth considering the general rule that you shouldn’t be spending more than around 30% of your take-home income on your rent payments. For example, if you are taking home £1,500 each month, you don’t want to spend more than £450 on your monthly rent payments.
Council tax is a necessary expense if you’re an adult and rent or own your home. The amount you are expected to pay will vary according to the bands, which are dependent on where you live and what type of property you live in. You will have an amount that you are required to pay, which you can pay on a monthly basis or a yearly basis, however, if you fail to make a monthly payment, you may be ordered to pay the rest of the balance for the year.
Some people are exempt from council tax or may be entitled to a discount. For example, if you live alone or are the only adult in the home, you can receive 25% off your bill. You could also be exempt if you are a full-time college or university student, for example.
Your utility bills include gas, electricity and water. There is already likely to be a supplier providing these utilities to your new home, so you can choose to stick with these providers or switch to a different one.
Comparing costs can be worthwhile if you’re looking to save money – while it may be easier to stick with the current supplier, it may be cheaper to switch. There are plenty of comparison websites that allow you to compare the costs of other suppliers, and they may offer incentives to persuade you to switch.
Just because you are renting, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think about investing in insurance. Of course, your landlord will have insurance on the property, but this won’t cover your contents. You can take out tenant’s insurance or contents insurance to protect you while you are renting.
According to moneysupermarket.com, the average cost for contents insurance for renters was £76 a year in 2017. While it may seem like another cost to add to your monthly outgoings, contents insurance can save you a lot of money in the long run.
Of course, you will also need to think about all the other costs associated with renting. These costs really depend on your lifestyle and what you are likely to spend your money on. For example, most tenants will need to factor in the cost of internet, mobile phone bills and TV licence costs.
You’ll also need to think about your budget for your grocery shopping – you may find that you need to shop around for different items to find the best prices.
It’s a good idea to have some extra money set aside when you first move in so that you can purchase any items for the home that are not already supplied. If you choose an unfurnished home, you may need to purchase white goods for the kitchen as well as your own furniture. Again, the cost of this really depends on your choices and how much you are willing to spend on these items.
While it may seem daunting, renting can be an excellent, affordable and flexible choice for many people. Perhaps you are not yet in a financial position to buy your own home, or maybe you like the security of having a landlord as well as having the reedom of being able to move around.
No matter your reason for renting, make sure you take a look at the fantastic properties listed with us. We have a number of beautiful houses to rent in Cumbria, so when you find one you love, get in touch with a member of our team to book a viewing and we’ll be more than happy to help you find your new home.