As restrictions are lifted and life starts to return to normal, we look at what is happening for renters in the cities.
Benefits of city centre living
After a year mostly spent locked away, there is now so much to do, see and experience. Cities are lively, colourful places, many with historic interest. Culturally, there is always something to inspire and life is never dull. Urban living has many advantages, including:
- Transport: most cities have excellent transport systems so there is really no need for a car. Getting home after a night out is easy with a choice of travel options, making city living very convenient.
- Culture: get your fill of the best theatres, museums, galleries, festivals and events. Many cultural activities are free and make for the perfect day out.
- Opportunity: compared to small towns, cities offer a wide choice of jobs, housing options and educational establishments, which all lead to the opportunity to meet more people and experience more things.
- Shopping: from designer to high street to boutique to retro, there is every sort of shop available in most UK cities. As well as browsing interesting shops, you are never far away from a convenience store.
- Careers: cities offer a much wider opportunity to find your dream job. In fact, some specialist careers such as theatre arts performer or working in the media, can only be really found in cities.
- Vibrant and exciting: around every city corner, expect to discover something new. One of the most rewarding aspects about living in a city are the things that you stumble on such as a festival, street market or tranquil spot by a canal.
Benefits of being a renter in a city
Fast-paced city living perfectly matches with the ease in which renters can move. In general, tenants are more nimble and move with less upheaval and at shorter notice than buyers. With a return to the office and more socialising on the horizon, renters want to be at the centre of the action after such a long time. Renting will allow people to be the first ones to take advantage of the fun that is starting to open up in cities across the UK. City living is also tempting for workers that want to walk or cycle to the office as the long and unpleasant public transport commute is still within memory.
How to find your ideal rental apartment
As lockdown continues to ease, it is anticipated that further city centre rental demands. So to secure your ideal property, it is good to be prepared.
- What is your budget: as a rule of thumb, agents say that you should never get a place that is more than 30% of your monthly earnings. Use your budget requirements to help narrow down your search.
- What area do you want: many cities have a different feel, price and desirability depending on what street you are on. Large cities like London will have lots of different areas to choose from within central locations so take your time to find what’s right for you.
- What space do you need: there’s always compromises to be made when searching for a property. You may have to make choices about an office versus a parking space or concierge services over an extra bedroom. The Build to Rent sector offers developments with many additional facilities so it is possible to have a smaller apartment but with access to a co-working space.
- Use search facilities: the Build to Rent sector offers many different types of rental properties. By using the Love to Rent portal, you can narrow down your search into specific categories such as pet-friendly, area, number of bedrooms, price and property type.
- Be realistic: chances are you will find your dream home within the Build to Rent sector but if not, ask yourself if you have unrealistic expectations. By viewing a number of different properties, you will develop a good understanding about what is available in your chosen area within your budget. Be open to suggestions because sometimes we don’t know what we want until we are actually in it.
- Get your paperwork in order: keep all relevant documentation relating to your rental search in one place. Have everything ready to go so you don’t miss out on your potential new home. The rental market in cities is competitive so give yourself the edge by being prepared. Some of the things that you should have include: proof of current address, completing a Right to Rent check, collecting bank statements from the past three months, references from your current landlord or a character reference and a reference from your employer.