2. What is Private Rent?
Once you are 18, you are legally able to sign into a private rent tenancy. By signing into a tenancy it gives you important rights but also some responsibilities. You shouldn’t feel forced or rushed into making a quick decision.
There are different ways in which you can rent:
- Directly from the landlord- if deciding to rent directly through a landlord make sure they belong to an accreditation scheme. Your local authority can advise you of this. If the landlord is subletting (renting you a property that they are renting from the home owner) make sure that the owner has consented to the subletting
- Through a letting agent- if renting through a letting agent, you will need to find out the fees, costs and when you need to pay them by.
Before you move in
- Holding deposit (Sometimes called a retainer): This is an amount of money an Estate agent can ask to 'reserve' a property and take it off the rental market (usually in a city where property goes quickly). The amount varies but is usually around one week's rent. This amount is normally taken off your deposit, which will be returned, once you leave the property or end the tenancy. You MAY lose this money if you change your mind and never move in.
- Contract/administration fee: This is a fee the estate agent will charge to create a contract between you and a landlord. This price also includes the work needed in administration phone calls/photocopying, etc.
- Reference Checks: This pays for the cost of running checks on you. This is usually with your current employer and/or previous landlord.
- Credit Checks: This is the cost for running checks on your credit history. A check is done via a credit reference agency, for example, Experian or Equifax.
- Deposit: When you are renting a property, you have to leave a deposit with the landlord/estate agent, which can only be used, if you damage the property or have unpaid rent. This deposit is taken by the estate agent/landlord before you move in and kept in a separate account. This money is returned to you after you leave your tenancy.
After you have moved in
- Tenancy Renewal: You will have selected a period of time you wish to live at the property. Once this time has passed, you will have to renew your contract. Please be aware this could also be the time your landlord decides to put your rent up;
- Changes to contract: If you need to change your contract because a housemate has moved out or if you wish to change the contract period length;
- Unpaid rent: If you have set up a standing order or direct debit and there is not enough money in your account when rent is due, your estate agent/landlord can charge you (your bank can too!);
- Early termination of contract: If you wish to cancel your contract before the agreed time period, then you can be charged the full amount of rent owed for the months remaining in your contract, plus a termination fee.
Please note that any care and support required for supported living arrangements is determined by an assessment from Adult Social Care. If you meet the criteria for care and support, any services provided will be subject to a financial assessment. This will determine how much contribution you will have to make towards the cost of your care. If you do not meet the criteria for services and support from Adult Social Care, you can make your own arrangements, and will pay full costs for your care and support.