New to renting – costs and considerations

If you’re looking to start renting, make sure you don’t get caught out by the costs. The cost of renting a home goes beyond just the rent itself, so it’s a good idea to know what to expect if you’re new to it all. One of the many benefits of renting is that you don’t have to deal with the unexpected costs that homeowners can face. If you own your home, it’s you who must pay for a leaky roof or broken boiler. While we’ll never spring any surprises like that on you, there are some fees to pay along the way. Here are some of the costs and things to consider for anyone that’s new to renting.
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New to renting – costs and considerations

Dream home: secured!

Your exciting journey starts with looking for a home that you love. When you find one, paying a holding deposit (also known as a holding fee) will secure it for you so you don’t miss out. The amount you pay is equivalent to a week’s rent, which we round down to the nearest £10. So, if your rent is £800 a month, the holding deposit will be £180. Once we’ve got it, the property comes off the market and is reserved just for you. We only hold onto your holding deposit until you’re ready to move in, at which point we put it towards your first month’s rent.

For emergencies only

The other deposit you’ll have to pay is equivalent to five weeks’ rent, for your tenancy deposit (or security deposit). That means it’d be £925 if you were paying £800 a month. This one is a bit more long-term; it gets registered with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) or Scottish Deposit Scheme (SDS) throughout your tenancy, so you can be sure your money is safe. It’s put aside just in case there’s a problem, like if something gets damaged or rent payments are missed – that’s the only time money would be taken from your deposit, otherwise you’ll get it back in full when you move out.

Paying rent

Your main outgoing each month will be your rent payment, the first of which is due in advance before you move in (minus your holding deposit). How much you pay for rent depends on a variety of factors, including the type, size and value of your home, as well as its location. At the end of 2023, the average cost for private renters in the UK was around £954 a month, although that number is pushed up slightly by areas where the rent is significantly higher like London. The capital is the most expensive region to rent in, while the North East is the cheapest. If you’re putting together your budget, a general rule of thumb is to set aside between 30-45% of your monthly income for rent.

All bills big and small

Bills are paid separately from your rent, giving you the freedom to use the suppliers of your choice. When you’re thinking about your budget, you need to factor in council tax, utilities for water, gas and electric, your TV license, phone and internet services, as well as content insurance for your personal belongings. Don’t worry your Landlord will cover your buildings insurance. Make a note of how much each payment is and when they go out – this makes it easier to stay organised and keep on top of your outgoings alongside your rent. That way, you won’t be caught off-guard by a sneaky direct debit that you’ve forgotten about.

Getting kitted out

A majority of rental properties are unfurnished, which means you’ll also need to think about the potential cost of transporting large items you own, as well as how much it’ll cost for any new pieces you need. We’ve partnered with furnishing companies to offer exclusive deals on furniture packs, which can either be rented or purchased.

Bring your four-legged friends

We don’t charge any fees if you want to bring your pets along. Cats and dogs quickly become another member of the family, so why should you have to pay for them to live with you? Just make sure you complete our pet application form beforehand so we’re aware of how many four-legged residents there are. You can review our pet policy here.


Disclaimer: Please note that is this only an estimate, the costs mentioned in this blog could be subject to change.

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