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Here are 5 things that guide renters in London housing market

For Nigerians carried by ‘Japa’ wave and are, therefore, planning to leave the country to settle in London as students or permanent residents, it is important to know the things that guide renting a home in that country.

London is an organized society unlike the ones we are used to here in Nigeria where, in some cities, some estate agents unconscionably rent out one apartment to as many renters as come his way and disappears into thin air with the money collected from them.

“If you are relocating to London from abroad or looking to rent in the heart of the city, this guide leads you to the top things you must know before making a decision to rent in London,” Ugo Arinzeh, Team Lead at London-based Onyx Property Team which says it is “Selling London Beautifully.”

According to Arinzeh, Onyx Property specializes as relocation and buying agent and, therefore, she advises those moving to London from other countries, especially Nigeria, to be guided by the five things listed below.

Eligibility: Is the renter eligible?

The most important thing a renter should note, particularly if he or she is relocating to the UK, is eligibility, that is, if the renter is eligible to live and rent in London. As the UK is no longer part of the EU, the immigration laws have changed. Something called ‘Right to Rent’ check is something all agents will need to complete. So the agent will need to ensure the renter is eligible prior to starting his rental search.

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What is the renter’s budget?

As it is in Nigeria, especially in Lagos, renting in London can be expensive, depending on the neighbourhood, size of property, and amenities. So the renter will need to factor in, alongside the monthly rent, the utilities and council tax, which aren’t included in the rent alone.

Furnished vs unfurnished?

A renter has a choice to make between furnished and unfurnished apartments. If he is bringing his own furniture , he will want to select properties that have the option to be unfurnished. But according to Arinzeh, many relocation clients prefer furnished spaces. “There is, however, the option to have a mixed property, with a combination of the essentials, and the opportunity to add your own furniture,” she said.

Negotiating the offer

Like Nigeria where the rental market is very active due to the affordability issues in the sales market, the renting sector in London is highly competitive right now. But that doesn’t mean the renter can’t negotiate. With the right buying agent by his side, the renter can negotiate things such as price, start date, break clause, furnished/unfurnished, and additional requests

Budget for security deposit:

Arinzeh explained that once a renter’s offer has been accepted, he will be asked for a security deposit which is an equivalent of caution fee in Lagos. Renters, as a rule, are given proof of registering the deposit with a government approved scheme within 30 days.

The security deposit can be held at the end of the tenancy for any damages, unpaid rent or bills, cleaning, gardening, decorating, and breaking the tenancy agreement