Bristol is a fantastic city to live in. With two world-class universities, some of the most innovative startups in the UK, fascinating historical attractions, an exciting cultural scene and surrounded by stunning countryside, it really has got it all.
If you are planning to rent a property in Bristol, you will be spoilt for choice. But there are a few things to do that will help you when you start your search. Here are eight tips to keep in mind when you are planning to rent a property in Bristol.
1. Decide on a Property Type
The first thing you have to decide upon is which type of property you want to live in. Do you want to rent a one-bedroom flat? Are you planning to share a house with a few friends? Perhaps you are looking for a place to raise a family? These will have a big impact on the type of property you want to live in.
2. Decide on a Location
Once you have a good idea about the type of property you want to rent in Bristol, you need to decide on a location. You can take your pick from vibrant Southville to the south-west of the city centre, leafy Bishopston in the north or bohemian Montpelier to name a few. Whether you want to live close to or in the city centre or get further out in the quieter suburbs, there are lots of lovely areas to live in Bristol.
Where will you be working? How long do you want your journey to work to be? Do you want to be on the edge of the city with easier access to the countryside? Perhaps you are commuting and want to be close to Bristol Temple Meads. These are all important considerations, so make sure you do your research.
3. Know What You Can Afford
Your budget will be a big consideration when you rent a place to live in Bristol, and it will be affected by the type of property and the location. So when you have a good idea about the type of property you want to rent and where you want to live, research the rental prices.
You may find that some areas are more expensive to live in than others, and living near to the city centre or in a very popular area like Clifton or Southville may be more costly. Do your research to get a good idea of what you can afford, and have a maximum budget in mind to avoid agreeing to rent somewhere you cannot afford.
4. Gather Your References
If you have rented a property before somewhere else in the UK, make sure you get a reference from your previous landlord. This should not be a problem as long as you have been a good tenant.
If this is your first time renting a property, obviously this will not be possible. This is a valid reason for not having a reference, so it should not be a big problem – everyone has to start somewhere. Your landlord may be happy to accept a reference from your employer instead.
5. Get Prepared
You will need to provide your landlord or agency with some details, so prepare this in advance to avoid any delays. Then when you find a place you like the look of, you won’t have to waste time and potentially miss out to another tenant.
For example, proof of employment might be required to show that you can afford the rent. You will also have to show a form of ID like a passport or driving licence, so make sure you have one ready.
Also, make sure you save up a tenancy deposit and have one month’s rent ready in advance so you can start renting as soon as you find somewhere you like.
6. Find Trusted Estate Agents
It’s great to have a letting agent you can trust, and they can also provide you with regular updates on the latest properties. They should provide clear tenant information so you know what to expect in terms of tenancy deposits, early termination fees and more. Also, are they registered with The Property Ombudsman (TPO) or another professional body?
7. Arrange a Viewing
Once you’ve found an estate agent, they will suggest a few properties to you, and you can arrange a viewing. Always make sure you view the property. No matter how lovely the photos look, you need to see the property for yourself as photos can be deceiving.
Take notes during the viewing and ask if you can take photos as well. Take along a checklist of all the essential things you are looking for, and keep a record so you don’t lose track. Also, try to ask the existing tenants for their opinions if you meet them, and keep an eye out for potential problems.
8. Check Everything Before You Sign
Hopefully, you will find somewhere you like the look of after a few viewings. But don’t rush into signing the tenancy agreement, and always check everything over first.
Ask the agency lots of questions, and make sure your deposit will be protected in a tenancy deposit protection scheme. Know what your responsibilities are as well as the landlord’s responsibilities, and ask to see the Gas Safety Certificate and the Energy Performance Certificate.
When you are ready, read through the tenancy agreement carefully, and consider getting a solicitor to read it as well. When you are happy, sign the contract and get ready to move in.
Find Your New Place in Bristol
Renting a new home in Bristol is exciting, especially because you’ll be living in a fantastic city. But make sure you go about your search properly. Follow these tips and you’ll soon find the perfect place to live in Bristol so you can enjoy all that the city has to offer.