Navigating the rental market can be tricky, especially when living in a big city. Here we highlight what to avoid when finding a room to rent.
Navigating the rental market can be tricky, especially when living in a big city. A lot of where you live is based on luck – being in the right place at the right time, or finding the right agent or booking platform. But there are things you can do to ensure that your move goes smoothly, from finding your dream space to securing it. We’ve teamed up with rental platform badi to highlight the pitfalls to avoid when finding a room in a shared flat, because mistakes made when renting an apartment can run the gamut from simply irritating to extremely costly.
THE SEARCH PHASE
Ignoring the neighbourhood
What’s the local area like? Will you have your preferred amenities and transport links close by? Might there be potential nuisances such as noisy traffic or a nearby nightclub? You may have found your dream home, but don’t forget that the location is just as important as the bricks and mortar. Before you sign on the dotted line, live like a local for the day. Take a stroll around the neighbourhood and try out the local pub. You will want to be sure that it’s a safe and enjoyable place to live. You may even want to visit at different times of the day to make sure peaceful afternoons lead into pleasant evenings.
Not considering the details
There’s only so much you can tell from property descriptions and online images. With this in mind, you should approach viewings with a plan to gain as much information as possible. It is important to look out for things such as whether your bedroom is facing a busy road, has double or single glazed windows or is next to the living room. In addition, it is essential to question what the neighbours are like – things such as communal environment and noise levels can really make or break your experience and quality of life at your new place.
Forgetting to document the condition of the apartment
One of the most common squabbles between renters and landlords is over security deposits. Deposits may be required by landlords as a safeguard – money that can be used to cover the cost of repairs and cleanup if needed. You’ll be prepared for such disputes if you find a reliable third party to take inventory of the property before moving in and ensure your deposit is secure in a regulated scheme such as the Deposit Protection Service (DPS).
THE BOOKING PHASE
Not reading the lease carefully
Like with any financial transaction, it’s all in the small print. A lease will specify things like having to pay your own electricity, gas and water bills, whether there are parking charges and important rules regarding pets. Misreading the fine print could land you in hot water in the long-run. Remember, the only form of lease that you should consider is a written one.
Getting caught out by a middle man
The middleman scam is one of the most common schemes there is, and it’s especially prominent on websites like Craigslist and other platforms with classified adverts. Most typically the place is real, but the owner of the listing doesn’t actually have access to it. They will have lifted the description and images from an estate agent’s website to create their own advert. They may insist on collecting rental payment, a security deposit or a holding fee in the first instance, and run off with your money before you can do anything about it.
The easiest way to avoid being scammed is to use a safe and reputable booking platform that moderates listings. Badi ensures transparency throughout the whole renting process. Booking your room is carried out through the platform, and an experienced support team is available for help and advice throughout the entire process. Badi’s guarantee means that you ensure your potential landlord is a credible one, and your apartment or room is as advertised. Payment will only be transferred to the landlord 48 hours after your move in date, so you will have plenty of time to make sure your room or apartment are exactly as expected.
Not identifying the owner of the property
Stumbling upon a website that offers no verification of either party (tenants and landlords), is a risky business with no means to ensure the security of your transactions. Avoid anyone who’s telling you that the documents will be sent to you later, a real homeowner doesn’t have any reasons to avoid showing you them. On badi, once an enquiry has been accepted, renters and landlords are able to talk directly through the platform’s inbox, ensuring simple and secure transactions throughout the entire process.
Ready to find your perfect room? Get in touch.