The three stages of renting a home
Generation rent is a term you hear a lot these days, but many don't realise just how many people are in this group.
In 2016, there were 4.5 million privately rented households and another 4 million renting from social landlords, according to the Department for Communities and Local Government.
Many people, particularly the younger generation, are struggling to get on the housing ladder and are choosing to rent. But the alternative – saving up for a deposit at the same time as paying your own rent and bills – is not an easy one. .
So here we take a look at the three stages of renting, so you can be prepared.
The first thing to do is work out how much rent you can afford to pay. The best way to do this is to set up a budget.
Write down everything going into your account from work and any benefits you're claiming. Then deduct everything going out, such as mobile phone bills and transport costs. Remember to make allowances for extra costs you might not have to pay at the moment, like broadband and utilities.
This should give you an idea about what you can realistically afford to pay.
Having this budget will also help you figure out how long you will need to save up, for that all important deposit.
You've figured out how much you can afford to pay in rent, saved up for the deposit, found somewhere to rent and are ready to move in.
But before you start unpacking, there's a couple of things you need to do.
It's really important you read the tenancy agreement. It contains a lot of information about what you're expected to do and what your landlord is expected to take care of.
You also need to check the property for any damage, like cracked tiles or stains on the carpet. Take photographs and report it to your landlord so both of you have a record for when you move out.
If you are living with other people, make sure everyone is aware of their responsibilities for paying the rent and splitting the bills.
Maybe you're starting the whole process all over again and finding somewhere new to rent, or perhaps you're about to take the first step onto the housing ladder.
Either way, it's important you get everything right when you're leaving your current property to make sure you get as much of your deposit back as possible.
Have another read of the tenancy agreement. It should spell out everything you need to do before you go, such as hiring a professional cleaner.
This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.