The Advantages of renting
These days, an increasing number of people are renting and the quality and range of rented accommodation is better than ever.
Renting is usually cheaper than owning and bills are more predictable too, which is great news for those who prefer stable finances. And with fewer outgoings, you can save more.
Renting offers more flexibility than owning - you can move somewhere else relatively quickly - useful if you plan to move for a new job or are going away to study. Also, it's less hassle than being an owner as you won't need to pay for property maintenance - most of that will be done for you.
What type of property should I look for?
First of all, think carefully about the type of property you'd like to rent and which best suits your lifestyle.
For example, if you are only there during the week, a small place might do just fine. If security is important, then a ground floor flat may be out. If you have a car, then a parking space is a must.
Do you want furnished or unfurnished accommodation or would something that's just part-furnished be okay? Often it doesn't make much difference to the rent.
If it's furnished and you are sharing with others, do you trust them to look after the furniture - because you may lose some or all of your deposit to pay for damage even if they are responsible for it?
Other key questions to ask yourself:
Is a purpose built shower essential or can you make do with a shower attachment in the bath?
What facilities are there for washing and drying clothes?
Does the property have all the appliances you need?
Do you need a garden?
Are you prepared to share with someone else - if so, could you share with a live-in landlord?
Do you have a pet?
Where should I look?
It can be difficult to find good property to rent. Sifting through adverts in newspapers is hard work and the time from print to publication often means that by the time you see the ad, the property has long since been rented to someone else.
If you are prepared to share, you may be lucky and know someone who is looking for a flatmate. If your workplace has an intranet site, find out if it has a section that lists properties for rent. Many universities and colleges have an accommodation office, so if you are a student, find out what yours has to offer.
Good luck with your search...!