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Renting in Bow: Things to Check Before Renting a Property

East London is a popular area to live for all kinds of Londoners, whether students or city workers, and Bow, E3, is no exception. Famous for being the inspiration for Eastenders, Roman Road Market is located there, along with Victoria Park, which hosts the Lovebox festival every year. Property is in demand, especially since the Olympics, but when looking for a property to rent, there are a few steps you can take to make sure you get good value for money and don’t end up out of pocket.Agent or private landlord?While you will generally find that rental properties are offered through agents, there are a large number of privately rented properties all over London. There are advantages to both approaches, but broadly speaking dealing with a landlord directly can be more beneficial. This is mainly due to costs involved when renting from an agency - most agents will charge you admin fees for drawing up a tenancy agreement, as well as a holding deposit if you want to rent a property (you do get this back once the agreement is signed). It’s also worth bearing in mind that an agency makes it’s money by charging extra on top of the flat rental rate the landlord sets. While this won’t be obvious in most cases, you will probably pay a little bit less rent for a property in Bow if you deal with a landlord directly. There are other advantages to going private: If you have any problems with the flat, you can contact the landlord directly, so things should (hopefully) get dealt with much quicker. The agent on the other hand, has to contact the landlord and get back to you, which can take time as they have to deal with lots of other tenants etc. It’s also beneficial to get to know your landlord directly, as this can lead to sorting out any problems much more amiable and you will build up trust a lot quicker, which is ideal if you plan on letting long term.The tenancy agreementThis is where you will find the specifics of a rental: What you can and can’t do in the property, and what you are responsible for. Most of the time, a tenancy agreement will mainly be in place to make sure that you don’t leave the rental early, or sub let the property for your own profit. Sometime though, there are other stipulations, such as where you should park your car, whether you can keep pets in the property, and so on. Although it might be boring, make sure you are totally clear about what the tenancy agreement entails, as once you’ve signed it can be hard to get out of. If you’re not happy, let your agent or landlord know. They may be open to redrafting the agreement in certain areas. If you are dealing with agents, then be aware they will probably charge you for a redrafting (if the landlord agrees to one).CostsMoving into a rented property can be quite expensive initially, as you will need one full months rent and another full months rent for the security deposit. Providing you don’t damage the property though, you’ll get your full deposit back after you move out. It’s also very easy to overlook living costs, as your main concern will be the rent, but try to get an idea of utility bill costs and council tax. You can find this out from Tower Hamlets council and previous tenants, or the landlord or agents. Make sure you have enough to cover your costs before moving in.