If you’re looking to rent a property in London, then you can give yourself a better chance of having a good time by doing a little bit of groundwork.
Too often, Londoners find themselves living through a waking nightmare when it comes to their rent – and in many cases, these problems could be avoided.
Let’s see if we can learn from the mistakes being made, by looking at a few of the most common issues, uncovered by a survey from rental homes brand, Tipi.
The company’s managing director, Rajesh Shah, said at the time: “We absolutely expected that there would be plenty of renters out there with tales of woe.
What we didn’t anticipate was nearly 20,000 respondents, each with a unique and disturbing experience of renting, the majority in London.”
Access to the City
In an age of working from home, attitudes toward getting into the city have shifted considerably. Many have elected to relocate further from the city centre, in order to take advantage of lower rents.
Cockroaches and mice are a distressingly common problem for many renters. One disturbing anecdote from the survey involved a cockroach falling directly into someone’s dinner.
Landlords are required by law to treat infestations and deal with entry-points for vermin. Don’t put up with it!
London suffers from roughly twice as much overcrowding as other areas of the country. Properties are crammed well beyond safe capacity by unscrupulous landlords.
When contagion is a concern, this becomes even more egregious. Study your tenant agreement thoroughly and make sure that there are limits in place on the number of people that can be moved into a property. The law might also be on your side.
The feeling of safety is crucial if you’re to enjoy your stay in a given property. Security problems are likely to result in sleepless nights, even if they aren’t exploited.
Properties with windows that don’t shut, or doors that don’t lock, are distressingly common. These problems can be exploited easily, and they can invalidate insurance claims following a break-in.
This kind of failure can be a source of severe stress in the long-term.
The law requires that deposits on a rental property are held securely in a deposit protection scheme. Of course, not every landlord is willing to hand the deposit back at the end of the rental.
They will search, dishonestly, for an excuse, however minor, to withhold the money. Tenants might find themselves fighting to get it back.
The solution here is to check the reputation of the landlord prior to moving in – if they’ve displayed this kind of behavior in the past, then it’s likely that they’ll do so in the future. The right kind of tenant insurance can help to guard against this kind of problem.
All of the problems we’re run through stem from a single foundational one: a landlord who’s unwilling, or unable, to address and fix problems as they occur.
A lack of responsiveness to problems can be distressing – but in a minority of cases, the landlord is actually maliciously inflicting problems.