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How To Rent In The UK As A Nigerian.
Moving to the UK from Nigeria? Finding the perfect rental is a key first step to getting settled there, and this comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know to successfully rent property in the UK as a first-timer.
Documents You Need for Renting.
Before renting, landlords will ask for documents that prove you have the legal right to live and rent in the UK, usually the following:
A valid passport as proof of identity.
Your visa to verify your immigration status.
Documentation showing your employment status.
The rental market moves very quickly in the UK, so having all of these documents at hand is critical so you can move fast when you find a good listing.
Where to Find Houses for Rent.
Many rentals in the UK are listed on popular property websites. If you find an appealing listing that meets your needs and budget, make sure to promptly contact the letting agent or landlord in charge before it gets snapped up by another person.
Some of the top rental platforms in the UK are:
Rightmove – The largest rental site with over 800,000 listings.
Zoopla – Has over 650,000 property listings to choose from.
OpenRent – Allows you to rent directly from private landlords.
Gumtree – Features classified listings, including rentals.
SpareRoom – Helps you find roommates and shared houses
In addition to major listing sites, you can also reach out to accredited letting agents within the area you want to rent in who can help you find available rentals not advertised publicly. Take care to verify that the agents are licensed and certified by organizations like the UK Association of Letting Agents to avoid being scammed.
Costs Associated with Renting
Here are the typical costs associated with renting in the UK:
Refundable holding deposit: This is to reserve the property for you so no one else takes it. The fee shouldn’t be more than a week’s rent price.
Security deposit: This is also a fee to be refunded when your tenancy expires. It shouldn’t be more than five weeks' rent if your annual rent fee is below £50,000 and six weeks' rent if your annual rent fee is above £50,000.
Rent payment: Typically, one month's rent is paid upfront before moving in.
Utility costs: This refers to electricity, gas, water, council tax, and internet expenses.
Note that fees for viewings, tenancy agreements, check-outs, etc. are now banned and illegal for landlords to charge in most cases.
How Much Does Rent Cost
Rental costs vary greatly and majorly depend on the city and neighbourhood you want to live in. According to a 2023 report by Zoopla, here are the current average monthly rents for some of the UK’s top cities:
London - £2,001
Bristol - £1,280
Edinburgh - £1,130
Leeds - £905
Nottingham - £897
Glasgow - £868
Birmingham - £863
Liverpool - £764
Sheffield - £753
Belfast - £713
The average rent in your typical location should inform your budget. It’s prudent to rent below your means to avoid financial stress.
Some Tips Before Renting.
Inspect Potential Rentals Thoroughly Before Committing.
Don’t rely solely on listings and photos when assessing potential rentals – always view the property thoroughly in person before signing or paying anything. Look for:
Signs of damp, mould, or insect/rodent infestations.
Working utilities, appliances, and fixtures.
Adequate insulation, windows, and weather sealing.
Overall cleanliness and condition of floors, walls, counters.
2. Understand Your Rights and Responsibilities
As a tenant renting in the UK, you have legal rights and protections against issues like unfair evictions, harassment, illegal fees, and substandard living conditions. Also, you are responsible for paying rent on time, avoiding property damage, and being considerate to neighbours.
We hope this guide is helpful in finding your dream apartment/home in the UK.
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