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The Ultimate Guide to Renting: Expert Tips for Avoiding Hidden Costs

Updated: Mar 29, 2023

Whether you’re new to renting market or a serial renter, you might not be aware of

some of the hidden costs involved. Here’s our guide to help you get rid of these

unwanted costs and save money!

Basics Costs:

When renting a flat/apartment in the UK, there are several costs you can anticipate incurring. Here are some of the most common ones:

Rent: The main cost you'll incur when renting a flat is the rent itself. This is the amount you'll pay each month to your landlord for the right to live in the property.

Security deposit: Landlords often require a security deposit before you move in. This is a sum of money (usually equivalent to one months' rent) that you'll pay upfront to cover any damage or unpaid rent at the end of your tenancy.

Agency fees: If you use a letting agent to find your flat, they may charge fees for their services. This can include administration fees, referencing fees, and tenancy agreement fees. Be sure to check with the agency beforehand to find out what fees they charge.

Utilities: You'll be responsible for paying for the utilities in the flat, such as gas, electricity, water, and internet. These costs can vary depending on your usage and the provider you choose. Access a premium report for an estimate on any property's utility bills.

Council tax: This is a tax levied by the local council on all residential properties in their area. The amount you'll pay will depend on the valuation band of the property and your personal circumstances. Access a free report to see your property's Council Tax band and charges.

Contents insurance: Your landlord will have insurance for the building and any fixtures and fittings, but you'll need to take out your own contents insurance to cover your personal belongings. Access a free report for deals on contents insurance.

Moving costs: You may need to pay for removal services, transport, or storage if you're moving a lot of belongings to the new flat.

It's important to factor in these costs when budgeting for your rental property. Be sure to read your tenancy agreement carefully to understand your responsibilities and any additional costs that may be incurred during your tenancy.

Additional Costs:

Service charges: If you're moving into a block of flats that is managed by a management company or residents' association, you may be required to pay service charges. These charges cover the cost of maintaining and managing the communal areas of the building, such as the lifts, hallways, and gardens.

Ground rent: If the block of flats is leasehold, you may also be required to pay ground rent to the freeholder. This is a fee paid annually for the use of the land on which the building is built.

Parking fees: If you have a car and need to park it in a designated parking space, you may need to pay a fee for this. This may be included in your rent or charged separately.

Moving-in fees: Some blocks of flats may charge a fee for moving in, to cover the cost of any damage caused to communal areas during the move. Access a free report to find local removals companies.

Deposits for communal areas: In some cases, you may be required to pay a deposit for the use of communal areas such as a shared garden, bike storage, or laundry facilities. This is to ensure that these areas are well-maintained and kept in good condition.

It's important to check with the landlord or management company for any additional costs especially when you're moving into a block of flats. This will help you to budget accordingly and avoid any unexpected expenses.

Post-Grenfell Tower Regulations: Costs of Moving into a High-Rise Building:

Following the Grenfell Tower tragedy in 2017, the UK government introduced new regulations and guidelines relating to the safety of external wall systems on high-rise buildings. As a result, some buildings may need to undergo remediation work to replace or upgrade their cladding and other external wall systems to meet the new safety standards.

If you are renting a flat in a building that requires remediation work, you may be required to pay some fees associated with the cladding. Here are a few examples of potential fees:

Service charge increase: If the building is leasehold and managed by a management company, the cost of remediation work may be added to the service charge. This means that you may see an increase in your service charge bill to cover the cost of the work.

Special assessment: If the building is not leasehold, the management company or residents' association may carry out a special assessment to cover the cost of the remediation work. This would be a one-off payment that you would need to make.

Insurance premium increase: The building's insurance premium may increase as a result of the remediation work. If the building is leasehold, this increase may be passed on to you through the service charge.

Other fees: There may be other fees associated with the cladding remediation work, such as for additional fire safety measures, temporary accommodation costs, or legal fees.

It's important to check with your landlord or management company for any additional fees or costs associated with cladding remediation work before you sign a tenancy agreement. They should be able to provide you with more information about the specific costs and how they will be charged.

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