So what is "renting light"? It's the idea of moving in and out of rental properties with the least amount of hassle possible. First, let's look at why this might be a good idea in the first place. Let's look at its opposite...imagine moving into a "renting heavy" with maximum trouble:-
- an unfurnished property - boom, right there you have set yourself up for trouble! I once had to buy my own cooker and fridge for a rental property! The second-hand cooker took quite a while to hook up to the electrics too. I had two huge double mattresses I had to lug into the property. Already you get the idea of how much trouble an unfurnished rental is. Oh, and I had to sell all of these on moving out - I moved to a furnished property!
- choosing a rental property that's (mis)managed by a bad letting agent. Always do your research with letting agents. They are all of varying quality. Read the testimonials.
- Signing a 6 month contract when you want to rent much longer than that. Hope is not a strategy here. The landlord can decide not to renew, so be careful!
- Having too much stuff in general. For every item you move into a rental property, you have to move it out again.
- Being generally disorganized with setting up and finalising bills
OK so we already see the potential pitfalls with renting. "Renting light" seeks to avoid all of the above issues, and the strategy here is to basically do the opposite of all of the above:
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- Rent a furnished property. More expensive, but WAY less hassle.
- Choose a helpful letting agent. You can get a good idea when viewing a property and fielding questions to the agent who is with you. They should be able to answer your questions confidently. Ask questions about the landlord's future intentions. Of course, nothing is guaranteed, but if you do intend to live there for a few years, let the agent know when viewing the property.
- Be a minimalist. You KNOW that living in a rental property means you're very likely to be moving back OUT of it within a year or two. Really think about how many items you need to move into the property.
- Organize the paperwork/admin for the property - bills, contracts. Keep them in one place, and keep on top of them.