Rising inflation rates & a slow down in new builds has led to a high demand for rental homes which has led to average rents across Northern Ireland increasing to £817 per month.*
The escalating rental prices are adding to the existing demands already established by the cost-of-living crisis, making it vital that tenants find savings wherever possible.
When it comes to renting, things like knowing your rights, making an inventory of issues and taking out tenants insurance can all help when it comes to losing as little money as possible during a tenancy. Our partners at Compare NI are sharing their top suggestions for renters to safeguard their deposits and cover themselves in case of accidents, to avoid losing any money on top of monthly rent.
Compare NI’s top tips to help renters save including;
1. Tenants insurance
Contents insurance covers your items against theft and damage such as furniture, electrical equipment – anything you can take with you when you move – it also covers fire, floods and water damage. It’s important to check your tenancy agreement, some landlords insist you have contents insurance as part of the agreement. Also, check if accidental damage is part of your policy or if you need to add it as an extra.
Get a quote and compare contents insurance.
2. Pay on time
Failing to pay rent on time to your landlord can negatively impact your credit score and make it harder for you to get a mortgage in the future. It could also cost you financially, with some landlords charging a late fee of anywhere up to hundreds of pounds per day. In an emergency, if you are unable to pay rent on time you must let your landlord or management agency know immediately, they may be able to support you with some flexibility if you have a payment plan thought out.
3. Consider a roommate
To share housing costs and help to increase your disposable income each month, you may want to consider taking on a roommate. Before doing so, make sure to discuss it with your landlord to ensure you are not in breach of your tenancy agreement. Make sure there is a written agreement to decide how rent and utility payments will be divided.
4. Know your rights
One of the best ways to keep your money safe while renting is to know your rights, this is especially important with so many being affected by rent increases since the pandemic. There should usually be a month’s notice in place for any price increases on rent. The amount landlords can increase the rent depends on your agreement but they must be fair, realistic and in line with other properties in the area. Knowing this can save you from agreeing to an unfair rent price hike, remember you can negotiate.
5. Do an inventory list
When moving into a new rental property, it is important to do a sweeping inventory of the space, taking photos and videos of its current condition and highlighting anything which needs the landlord’s immediate attention. Remember landlords cannot make deductions for fair wear and tear, having date and time-stamped content of damage is the best way to ensure you are not blamed for prior issues when it comes to the end of your lease. Problems such as damp walls and mould will need to be addressed immediately for health reasons and to prevent it from growing into a more serious issue.
6. Keep it clean
It sounds obvious but, make sure to thoroughly clean and remove all belongings from the house to avoid being charged fees or having part of your deposit withheld for cleaning purposes. Keeping a good standard of cleanliness throughout the tenancy will stand you in good stead as landlords can inspect the property regularly to ensure it is being looked after.
7. If something goes wrong
If an accident happens in a rented property which leads to damage of the space or any furniture owned by the landlord, it is important to notify them straight away. Contacting your landlord or property management agency as soon as something goes wrong can help to safeguard your deposit and avoid any further damage.
8. Think about your amenities
If you’re searching for a new rental property, it is important to think about amenities within the total monthly cost. Think about what is important to you, for example, if a gym, parking space or onsite washer and dryers are included within the tenancy. This can help you make a more informed decision about where to live based on the benefits provided by the building. What will work out cheaper for you over time?
Ian Wilson, Managing Director of Northern Ireland’s largest price comparison website, CompareNI.com, adds: “It’s important to cover yourself with renters insurance to protect your belongings – don’t forget to inform your insurer each time you move properties, failure to do so will void your policy and leave you vulnerable should you need to make a claim.”
View all new rentals in Northern Ireland here.
This article is intended as generic information only and is not intended to apply to anybody’s specific circumstances, demands or needs. The views expressed are not intended to provide any financial service or to give any recommendation or advice. Products and services are only mentioned for illustrative rather than promotional purposes.