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When renting or buying any property there are always hidden fees and charges that pop up and surprise you. While agencies are required by law to inform you of any fees, they are sometimes hidden behind jargon, complex legal terminology or in the small print.
Most extra property charges such as stamp duty, arrangement fees and mortgage repayment rents are all pretty much upfront and expected when you buy a property, although there are many more.
But when renting a property there are some extras that might pop up and surprise you which can include:
- Service charges
- Parking spaces
- Upfront costs
Service charges are a necessary expense when renting a property but they can sometimes be misleading while some agencies actually charge extra for the privilege of parking your car. It is now common for many letting agencies and landlords to charge large deposits before you move in.
Maintenance and Repair
When you rent a property, a service charge might be included in your rental agreement. This is paid to cover the costs of maintenance to the property and is usually carried out by property management companies.
These companies are normally very professional and manage such things as communal area maintenance, gardening, window cleaning, repairs, insurance and much more. Service charges of this nature are commonly found in blocks of flats and housing estates but can be used for other properties.
Most of the time a service charge is included in your rent but sometimes it can be requested as an annual fee. A preference can sometimes be discussed with your landlord to come to an arrangement that suits both parties but it isn’t uncommon for service charges to fluctuate depending on the economy.
Somewhere to Park
Most working people these days have a vehicle of some kind, and depending on where you live, finding a parking space, even outside your own home can be a nightmare. Some rented apartments provide a parking space or a garage for each tenant but it is becoming more common to be charged for this privilege.
Allocated parking space charges should be made clear on your tenancy agreement and any agency or landlord should give you the option of whether you want one or not as it might not even be necessary if there is road space outside or you don’t own a car.
The fee for an allocated parking space can vary dramatically depending on your location and how much a parking space might be in demand. If you live near some shops, for example, there might be parking lots nearby and therefore a parking space is likely to be cheap, but densely packed streets with a lot of families can cause prices to increase.
Payment in Advance
Deposits are a traditional and accepted form of coming to an agreement that should anything happen to a property then the landlord doesn’t lose out. However, upfront costs are increasingly growing in size to not only include the traditional security deposit but prepaid rent which in some cases can be up to one year.
Most agencies might charge one month in advance but there is no limit on what a private landlord can ask for. However, the upfront rent must be the exact amount of the rent only and it is illegal for a landlord to insert extra charges into this.
You should also be aware that when you leave a property, a landlord must pay your deposit back to you within 10 working days of your departure or within 7 days of you deciding not to take the property. This is the deposit only and not advance rent.