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Moving into private rental?

(34 Posts)
Ailidh Sun 01-Aug-21 17:20:34

I feel a bit of a dolt asking but it's 45 years since I last rented privately, and I don't know how to go about it.

Short info burst: Oops, it wasn't short. Sorry,
Bought a house when I left uni, and subsequent houses as I moved jobs.
Finally became a vicar, which means living in the tied house, and not earning enough to save up for a property.

Reitred early on mental health grounds in 2015. The C of E scheme at the time was that retiring clergy could find a property up to a certain value, C of E would buy it and rent it back to them.

I'm in a perfectly pleasant little bungalow - but I want to move to the coast. There's only me and two dogs to please, and I've decided I want this adventure: if I hate it, I hate it but better that than be regretful.

I've contacted C of E but they have no properties there (I want to move to Fleetwood on the Fylde/Wyre Coast). They've also made it clear that even if they had, priority would be given to those approaching retirement, rather than me who just wants a change. That's perfectly fair.

I don't really understand social housing but as far as I can tell, it's for people who already live in or have links to the area. That's perfectly fair.

Although in both cases I could write a good supporting argument for my mental health needs and the speed with which I had to make decisions 6+ years ago.

So it looks like private renting is the way to go.

I've been scouring zoopla et al but agents don't seem keen on sending out detailed particulars, they want people to phone in to make viewing appointments Now. I've explained that at the minute what I'm trying to do is to see what my budget will get me but they're not keen to invest a huge amount of time in someone who's not ready to move yet.
I guess that's fair enough too but I find myself stuck, until I can get over for a couple of days and visit agents in person.

So my questions are: Is there a Renting For Dummies book? How do I get an idea for the responsibilities and rights of tenants? What sort of questions do I need to be asking landlords or agents to make sure I'm getting what I think I'm getting?

I'm giving myself a week there in the New Year, self catering in a holiday apartment. It may well be that seeing it in driving rain and 6 hours of daylight may make me re-evaluate but if it doesn't - well, any useful How To tips would be much appreciated.

Thank you.

Shandy57 Sun 01-Aug-21 17:28:04

If you go onto Moneysaving expert there is comprehensive advice on renting, it is a pinned post at the top of the 'House Buying, Selling and Renting' forum.

I can't help you with the area you wish to move to, but can tell you that the rental agency/landlord's apply a formula to see if you can afford the rent - 30 times the monthly rent versus your monthly income. Savings are not included in the calculation.

I rented very happily for a year whilst house hunting, but did find the 'six monthly inspections' irritating.

Good luck with your search.

Shandy57 Sun 01-Aug-21 17:28:40

Sorry, I meant to say versus your net annual income.

SueBdoo70 Sun 01-Aug-21 17:46:57

You could look at retirement housing associations in the area you would like to live. Anchor and Hanover are two that come to mind. There are many others though. You need to be 55/60 to qualify. Housing benefit may help with the rent if you are on a low income and a financial assessment by the Citizens Advice Bureau or Age UK might discover you can claim some extra income. I always dreamt of living at the coast and did so when I retired. I’ve loved it. But you’ll never know unless you give it a go!

Mattsmum2 Sun 01-Aug-21 17:57:24

I rented for the first time 2 years ago after owning, long story.
The best piece of advice I can give you is, you can negotiate the rent, it’s not just the advertised amount. Make sure when you do find somewhere it has a comprehensive inventory done, and also take your own video of the property when you move in and if you move out. I’ve just left a rental after 10 months and I’ve left the house in a cleaner state than when I moved in, I had to get professionalisms clean done before o moved in. It’s also been cleaned as I left but the landlord/agents are saying they’re going to make deductions for ‘things ‘. Think I may have a battle in my hands. Make sure the deposit it protected as it should be by law. This all sounds bad but my previous rental ending was fine. Please feel free to message me if you need any more information . Best of luck x

trisher Sun 01-Aug-21 18:16:37

If you do look at over 55s housing associations accommodation like Anchor be aware that besides rent you will pay a service charge and this will increase steadily. However if you have a low income you are entitled to help with your rent. If you google sheltered accommodation and Fleetwood it will bring up any properties.
You could also just try googling accommodation for over 60s in that area and see what comes up.

Newquay Sun 01-Aug-21 18:17:05

We’re just helping DH’s sister move OUT of private re Ted accommodation after being suddenly served with notice to quit. She has been allocated a one bedroom council bungalow which gives her security in her retirement.

trisher Sun 01-Aug-21 18:18:10

If you want to try things out why not do a deal for a winter holiday let for a month or so. You can see what it's like and visit properties

MissAdventure Sun 01-Aug-21 18:27:00

You could probably get the best advice from the 'Shelter' website.
Good luck; I do hope you find somewhere. smile

JaneJudge Sun 01-Aug-21 18:39:53

I would only do it of you have no other choice. They make it up as they go along and they wont want you having dogs either

MissAdventure Sun 01-Aug-21 18:53:34

The flat above me has been privately rented, and they accepted someone with no deposit, plus a cat and dog.
She was actually the best tenant ever, from my perspective.
Spotlessly clean, no tapping from the dog, and even the cat knew its place.

JaneJudge Sun 01-Aug-21 19:07:50

well, that is nice smile

Ailidh Sun 01-Aug-21 19:26:29

Thank you very much for all the helpful advice.

I'd wondered about Shelter but thought maybe they were just for those in need.

I'm going for a week in January to get a more realistic taste. A month sounds an even better idea. I know the one I'm going to doesn't take pets because they have a cat of their own but worth investigating other places.

Never thought of Moneysavingexpert, I'll give that a go. The formula's interesting - the upper limit of what I'd thought I could go to works out at £35 per annum short - so I was there or thereabouts!

I've looked at retirement housing but all I can see at the minute are sheltered flatlets round a central lounge, and I'm not quite there yet; and they don't take dogs.

I do know it's potentially an uncertain way to live but my theory was that if I did get chucked out, then I'd be eligble for social housing. I know some places take pets if you already have them.

I'd definitely take video and photos before I moved in. I wonder if there's a way of checking a landlord's history?

Thank you again. Lots to think about but good to know there are places to get info and help.

And SueBdoo - well done for living the dream!!

Shandy57 Sun 01-Aug-21 22:45:42

Ailidh competition for rentals is keen and you need to be able to move very quickly when you see somewhere you like - and sometimes, not always, the landlord chooses who he wants out of the viewers. I was having a viewing which was rudely interrupted by an old couple who'd arrived early - and the Diocese that owned the house chose them. I assume it was the 'formula' as the rent was £750 per month, my income only allowed me £700 per month.

The rental I got in the end didn't mention pets in the advert, and I asked the agent to ask the landlord if he would consider my cat and dog, which he very kindly allowed. My friend has an Anchor Housing flat here, and has a dog, as do several other people in the block.

Savvy Sun 01-Aug-21 23:07:01

You need to make sure that pets are allowed and get it in writing.

Most private rental properties are on either a 6 or 12 month lease, so if you don't like it, you can move. Please don't fall into the trap of offering a lump sum rent to cover the whole of the lease, they will expect another lump sum when you renew the tenancy.

Make sure you have an agreed inventory of any items left in the property and take time/date stamped photos so you have a visual condition report for each item. Also check on the meters, some landlords insist on prepayment meters and will not allow them to be changed.

Savvy Sun 01-Aug-21 23:10:04

There's a website called rate your landlord, which you may find helpful.

Daisymae Mon 02-Aug-21 07:43:50

I would be very wary of moving out of a secure tenancy into the private market. As things stand you could be given notice at almost any time should the owner require possession. Many owners do not allow dogs Rents are also very high at the moment, at least they are here. You can surely get an idea by looking on Rightmove at the price ranges? More security would come with social housing, so maybe contact them first? Your need to be near the coast could be fulfilled by out of season shorter term lets.

Chardy Mon 02-Aug-21 08:40:39

Is there a person responsible for coordinating support to retired clergy in that diocese? I know there is here.
Is there anyone useful to contact here?

Nannarose Mon 02-Aug-21 10:53:48

I would explore Housing Associations a bit more. Their priorities depend on how they were set up originally. I certainly know of some that have reserved places for those with mental health needs, and some with Christian / CofE links.
I second those who caution against giving up a secure tenancy. As I understand it, you currently live in a house you chose, but is owned by the Church ( which sector?) and rented from them.
I would certainly consider putting your case to them to negotiate something that would suit you better. Could you get a friend or someone similar to help you state the issue and support you arriving at a solution?
At present the Church has some obligation to you and a formal relationship with you. If you give this up, then you are on your own in the vagaries of the private rented sector. This can be very stressful.
You don't say what kind of relationship you have with the Church at the moment. I would also consider contacting local churches and seeing if anyone can point you in the right direction.
MIND has useful sections, and definitely MSE.
Good luck!

Savvy Mon 02-Aug-21 10:57:05

Just a thought, but have you considered or enquired about exchanging properties with someone who wants to move from the area you want to move to?

CassieJ Mon 02-Aug-21 11:10:20

Look at Shelter's website. They are housing experts and will give you all the information that you and what the law is regarding private renting. Don't use CAB as they often make a lot of mistakes and don't completely understand the laws around private renting.

You can apply for HA and give them your circumstances. That may sway you to allowing you to bid on housing. The rents are usually cheaper on HA than private. At least with HA you are more secure than private as you never know when a landlord will want you out.

jaylucy Mon 02-Aug-21 11:10:55

Have a look on the Citizens Advice website for your area - there is information on private renting, or you could call their telephone advice line for information- they are not doing face to face appointments in many areas yet.
Don't forget that it may be possible to claim housing benefit from the Borough or County Council where you move to - has a benefits calculator where you complete an online form, giving your household's income and outgoing info, that will also give you an idea if you may be entitled to claim any other benefits.

Ailidh Mon 02-Aug-21 11:18:32

All good points and questions, thank you.

The house I rent is through the Church of England Pensions Board. They have a commitment to house retiring clergy, and to re-house retired clergy whose house is no longer suitable for their physical needs. Retired clergy who just want to move are right at the bottom of their priorities. Understandably.

Yes, it would be a huge thing to do, to move out of a contract where, short of growing cannabis in the greenhouse and having orgies in the summerhouse, it's impossible to be thrown out. For the avoidance of doubt, I have neither greenhouse nor summerhouse.

It hadn't occurred to me to ask them for advice about moving to other providers, although my first move was to ask if they had anything on their books that they were desperate to let. Ha.

Next week, when I get my house back from the decorator and my head together, I'll contact them again.

Thank you for the advice 🌺

catnip Mon 02-Aug-21 11:39:46

I too rent a bungalow through the C of E Pensions Board (not by the seaside though!), I think they will advise on other providers of secure housing for older people. I've been here for 12 years now, and would not move except to somewhere similar, so would echo the comments about not moving out of a secure tenancy to somewhere that might mean you need to keep on moving. Some retired clergy do not keep up links with the diocese or similar, and I'm one of them, but even for those who do, there doesn't seem to be much support. Whatever you decide from all the good advice given here, it sounds as if you are going to have an adventure, and I hope it works out well.

midgey Mon 02-Aug-21 12:00:55

Think very carefully before you give up your security. It is worth its weight in much more than gold!