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Moving into a rental flat or house – can you cover all the costs?

Published 13 January 2017 by

Moving into a new rental place can be one of the most exciting, freeing and challenging things you do. Whether you’re moving out for the first time, looking for somewhere bigger or downsizing, it’s great to find a place you can call home. If you’re ready to embark on that journey, here’s our lowdown on what to budget for so you can stay in the black by the end of each month.

Start with the upfront costs

Before you sign any tenancy agreement or start looking at rental properties, you’ll need to save a housing deposit. The amount of this can vary but it’s typically the equivalent of one to three months’ rent. So before you commit to anything, look at your income and consider what’s within your price range.

When you view properties, always ask to see what in the tenancy agreement and how much the deposit is. For example, if the landlord wants the equivalent of three months’ rent at £400, you’ll need to fork out £1,200.

The deposit is held as a guarantee and the landlord can keep this if you break the contract, damage the property, or don’t pay your bills. You should expect to get this back if you pay rent on time, keep the property in good condition and don’t leave any unpaid bills.

Make your house a home

Once you’ve paid the deposit and are ready to move in, you’ll need some soft furnishings and kitchenware to make it practical and comfortable to live in – that includes bedding, bedside lights, toaster, kettle and cutlery. Work out how much it will cost to furnish the house and set a separate budget aside for these items. You can decide what you need when you see what comes with the property. If you’re on a tight budget, it’s probably better to stick with a furnished or part-furnished let to avoid having to fork out for more stuff.

Get the monthly budget in check

You’ll have numerous bills to cover monthly, so set up Direct Debits to ensure they go out on time and you don’t miss any payments. If you pay on time, it can help to boost your credit history. Remember to include these bill payments into your budget:

•  council tax,

•  utility bills,

•  food shopping,

•  travel costs,

•  phone and internet bill, and

•  TV subscriptions.

Insure your contents

On top of all this, it’s really important to get contents insurance. The last thing you’ll want is to lose your belongings in an emergency such as a burst pipe, fire or break in and not have the cover to replace them. You should also check with your landlord to see what cover the property has, as buildings cover is a separate insurance policy and this is their responsibility.

Get help where you can

Remember, if you’re on a low income and receive benefits, Housing Benefit could help you pay some or all of your rent. You could also get some other benefits.

If you aren’t certain you can keep on top of your budgeting, you could consider an alternative account that helps you manage your finances. A thinkmoney Personal Account can help you set aside the money for all your regular bills so you avoid spending it by accident. You can then spend your remaining money on whatever you want – safe in the knowledge the important things are covered.

The thinkmoney Personal Account is £17.50 a month or £24.50 for the joint Personal Account.

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