Genius tips to help you save money on rent

The Skint Girl's Guide To Saving.

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by Debrief Staff |
Published on

It’s bad times out there, chaps. Rent is another one of those expensive, joyless but necessary things we just have to spend our money on. More & more of us are moving back ‘home’ to save for deposits to buy houses because it seems impossible when you’re shelling out £850 a month for a damp room in a flat share in Tottenham Hale. Rent is always going to be expensive, that’s a given, but if you follow our tips for saving money on it, owning your own place might become less of a pipe dream and more of a not-so-distant reality!

Check out the agency fees before you make an offer

If you’re renting through an agency, ALWAYS check their fees before you make an offer. These can be HUGE and can vary wildly from agency to agency. If you’re not careful you can be expected to pay a fee of somewhere in the margin of £700 – which is probably around the same amount as your deposit. Always double check.

Note down flaws & use them to haggle

When you’re viewing the property, take a note pad and make a note of the flaws. More often than not, rental prices are open to negotiation, so you can use these flaws to your advantage. We’re not talking huge things here, but fixable things. Perhaps the carpets are worn down in places, or the bathroom ceiling might need a repaint. Mention these things when you make an offer, and you might be able to knock the price down £10/20 a month. That doesn’t seem like a lot, but over the course of a year that’s a whole £120/240!

READ MORE: How To Save Money In Your Twenties

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Check the transport links to work

Technically, this won’t save you money on rent, but choosing where you live will have a direct effect on your monthly outgoings in terms of travel. The property might be DEAD cheap in terms of rent, but if you’re having to travel all the way across London just to get to the office everyday the costs are going to rack up. If there’s a bus route to work from your new home, that’s always going to be cheaper. Even better if it’s walkable – a new pair of trainers is going to be WAY cheaper than a yearly Travelcard.

Opt for Unfurnished

More often than not, unfurnished properties are cheaper to rent than furnished ones. This might be a bit of a pain in the posterior, but it doesn’t have to be an expensive one. Websites like Freecycle exist, meaning that you can get sofas, and coffee tables and all that stuff FOR FREE! Or check out sites like Gum Tree, for local cheap deals.

Check if you’re eligible for an Intermediate Rent Scheme

Intermediate rent offers you the opportunity to rent a brand new refurbished home or a home that is being re-let at a rent that is less than the market rate. The rent charged is up to 80% of the rent that you would expect to pay for a home in a similar area if you were renting from a private landlord. There are different criteria for different schemes – so have a little google and see if you qualify!

Become a Property Guardian

Fancy living in a church, school or fire station? In return for babysitting empty premises to deter squatters, property guardian companies charge their ‘guardians’ as little as a third of local rents. It works out at around £280 a month, or £400 a month in London. A.k.a WAY less than renting the regular way. The catch is, though, the leases are usually quite short and you could be kicked out with only 2 weeks notice. Always do your research!

Now that you’ve made a tonne of savings, you should check they’re FSCS protected! That means if your bank failed for any reason, you'd get your money back automatically - and it's completely free. Find out more at: www.fscs.org.uk/protected

We're giving away little prizes every day for the next 3 weeks, to make becoming a #Supersaver a little bit easier. Follow us @TheDebrief and look out for our #Supersaver competitions every weekday for the next 2 weeks! Ts & Cs here.

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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