There has always been an argument over which is cheaper when considering a house move. Is it cheaper to buy or rent? The short answer is… it depends! In the long-term (if you aren’t intending to move for a long time), then buying is probably cheaper, as you won’t be paying a mortgage forever. On the other hand, if you don’t intend to stick around in an area for long, then renting is often the cheaper and more practical choice.
If you are looking for somewhere to rent then, you will probably want to know how to make a few savings. With this in mind, here are some money-saving tips we think you will find useful.
- Rent privately
While there are advantages to using a letting agent, you will usually have to pay a substantial amount in fees before you move into the property. This usually constitutes the first month’s rent up front, a deposit, admin fees, and even pet fees if you own a cat or dog. On the other hand, you can avoid the expense by going through a private landlord. There may be some fees to pay, such as a deposit, but you won’t be paying any administrative fees governed by the estate agent. Still, there is some good news. By 2019, there will be a ban on letting fees, so if you decide to go with an estate agent after all, your bank balance won’t be hit hard because of those nuisance expenses.
- Share a house
Why pay full rent when you can share with others? Some estate agents specialise in this area – click here for an example – and they will have vetting in place to ensure you don’t end up with a terrible housemate. Of course, you can also move into a property with a friend, although be prepared for that friendship to be tested when you discover bad habits you were never previously aware of! In either case, you will be halving your monthly costs.
- Haggle with the landlord
When going privately, you may have some leeway with the landlord. Particularly if you spot any flaws within the property, you have the opportunity to try and lower the asking price. Now, some landlords are quite frugal but there is no harm in asking, and if you have the references to show your credentials as a tenant as well, you may have a reasonable chance.
- Pay your own bills
Some landlords sucker you in with ‘bills included.’ This sounds like a great offer – imagine never having to pay another utility bill again (or at least for the duration of your tenancy) – yet the promise is limited. The landlord will usually impose a ‘fair usage’ restriction, meaning you aren’t allowed to go over a specified amount of energy, and they will raise the rent to factor in their supposed ‘special offer.’ Instead, agree to pay your own bills, and haggle for a rent decrease. You can then shop around for better utility deals, and use as much energy as you want. Talking of bills, remember the importance of insurance (especially contents) too, as this probably won’t be included with any deal the landlord is supposedly offering.
- Go for an unfurnished or part-furnished property
It’s easier to move into a house or flat that’s fully furnished, but the rental price will often reflect this. Instead, consider somewhere unfurnished or partly-furnished. You will be paying a lower rate of rent, for starters, and you can pick and choose the furnishings you actually want. Hint: if you’re on a budget, check out furniture wholesalers or charity warehouses for furnishings at incredibly low prices.
Moving home is stressful, but you will suffer less financial stress if you follow our money-saving tips. Thanks for reading, and let us know if you have any further advice for our readers.