“Hi AG, I have a few questions about renting a flat/house in London. First, why do some rental agencies list the price per month, and some per week, and why are these numbers different?”
Usually rental sites (Rightmove, Find a Property, etc.) list the rental prices per week, however you are charged per month. Therefore, depending on the month, your rent will likely be just a little over 4 weeks rent, since there are usually more than 28 days in a month.
“What do I need to do about utility bills, does my landlord cover those?”
Unfortunaltely, you’ll probably have to pay your utility bills yourself, however, there are some agreements where you can have bills included in the monthly rental fee. If you do have to sort out the utility bills yourself, be sure to check out Entrust Energy reviews before settling on a provider. Shopping around can really save you money! Plus, don’t forget to argue any discrepancies too, you may end up paying too much.
Secondly, “What is council tax?”
Ugh. Unlike the States, when you rent a property in the UK you are responsible for what is basically the equivalent of the property taxes. Frustrating, I know. Council tax is calculated in “bands” and is based on the value of the property. To check out council tax prices in your area, click here.
And finally, “Do agencies charge a fee?”
Yes. However, generally speaking this is paid from the landlord who has listed the property, so usually you are not charged. When renting from a landlord, there are many different bills that they will take care of, however, it’s important to speak to your landlord directly to check what bills you will need to cover. If you require help with covering rent then you can always go onto sites like GoFundMe to help with any financial needs. To improve your understanding of some of the bills that need to be paid for a rental property, you could read this Roofstock guide to see what a landlord should be covering. That said, it is common for the agency (Foxtons, Knight Frank, etc) to charge a small contract fee (usually around Â£100) for all of the paperwork that goes into signing a lease.