The Quantum Guide to Renting for Beginners

Whether you’re a young professional moving to a new town, or a family wanting a space of their own, renting is the perfect option for many people.

In this article, we’ll take you through the key things to consider before you rent a property.

Why should you rent a property?

lightbulb with chalk thought bubble

The number of people who rent their home has risen dramatically over the last few years. When you consider some of renting’s advantages, it’s easy to see why.

Renting offers:

Lower, simpler costs. Once your initial deposit and fees are paid, your costs are simple to predict and anticipate. You can expect to pay your monthly rent, utility bills, and for essentials like food and clothing. Monthly rent also remains largely static unless you and the landlord agree otherwise.

Flexibility. Tenancies start from 6 months and can be extended as required. However, it also means you aren’t locked into a long-term commitment and can move away from the area if you need to.

No maintenance concerns. Your landlord is responsible for repairs and general upkeep. This means you can avoid the stress of finding repair services, as well as paying and scheduling them.

Quicker and easier property searches. Renting a property often takes less time than looking for a property to buy.

More options. If you share a rented property with someone, you may be able to rent bigger, more expensive properties than if you wanted to buy.

Is a property right for you?

dog in tall grass

There are many factors to consider when you rent a property. Try asking these questions to find the one that’s right for you.

How long do you want to rent? Most people enter into a type of tenancy called an assured shorthold tenancy. This typically lasts for 6-12 months but can last for longer if both you and the landlord wish it.

Can I afford it? Your gross income (the money you earn before taxes) should be at least 2.5 times the annual rent of your desired property. Don’t forget to consider other factors, like children or other dependents.

Does the property allow children or pets? If you’ve got a furry friend or family member you can’t part with, check they’re as welcome in the property as you are.

Do you like the property as it is? In most properties, you won’t be able to change the fixtures and fittings. You also won’t be able to redecorate without the landlord’s permission, so make sure you can see yourself living in it.

How much furniture do you have? Rented properties are available furnished or unfurnished. Make sure you know what you’re getting so you don’t have to buy a lot of extra furnishings… or find storage for the ones you have!

What other amenities are there? If you have a car, you will need a safe space to park. If you like to spend time outside, you may want a property with a garden as well.

Is this property in the right place?

map with keys and magnifying glass

Once a property ticks all the right boxes for you, it’s time to look at the surrounding area to ensure it can meet your long-term requirements. Consider the following:

Where is your current employer? Are you moving to be closer to them, or are you prepared for a long commute?

What are the transport links like? If you don’t drive (or aren’t currently driving) are there adequate bus or train services for your needs?

Are you close to any schools? If you’re thinking about having children or already have them, is there a school you can send them to?

Where are the medical services? Is there a GP you can get to easily?

What costs can I expect?


In the long term, renting offers a smaller living bill. However, there are several costs to consider at the start of any rental.

Refundable Deposit (1 week’s rent) This is paid in order to secure the property.  This is equivalent to a weeks rent. This deposit will allow us to stop marketing the property to anyone else and proceed with starting your application. The money will be held in our client account and will be used against your initial invoice if your application proceeds and we commence the tenancy.

The only circumstances in which you will lose the holding deposit are;
• If you provide false or misleading information
• If you fail a right to rent check
• If you withdraw your application- unless a Landlord imposed a requirement or acted in such a way that it would be unreasonable to expect a tenant to enter into a tenancy agreement.
• Fail to take steps to enter into the tenancy agreement

The referencing will be the first stage and will consist of a credit check, income check and previous landlord check if applicable. You will be sent a link to complete via email from a company called Rent4Sure. Applicants should be aware that their gross income should be 2.5 times the annual rent. If a Guarantor is required, their income should be 3 times the annual rent. Please note the income used can only be made up from basic salary. The referencing company will not use extra hours/overtime/bonuses etc. For example, if you are contracted to 20 hours per week then this would be the basic salary

If a tenant has any concerns over their credit history they should discuss this with a member of staff before proceeding with referencing. Failing to do so could end in losing the holding deposit.

Once we have conducted your references and deemed the letting suitable you will have 14 days to enter into the agreement. You will be sent this date and it will act as your “deadline for agreement”. You should be aware of this date as you may lose your holding deposit. (the date can be re-negotiated by mutual agreement).

A Deposit is paid on move in day, that is equivalent to one month’s rent +£100. This will be deposited into one of the protection schemes within 30 days.

You will receive it at the end of the tenancy (minus any deductions) and goes into a government-approved protection scheme for safekeeping.

Quantum offers several other services free of charge.

These include:

Inventory  – We will make a record of everything in the property and its condition.
Renewal Agreement  – If you wish to extend your tenancy we can oversee this.
Express Move In – Moving in quickly has never been easier.
Weekend Move-in – You can get started in your new home whenever is convenient for you.
Guarantor Reference Check  – If you require a guarantor (see below) we will arrange all the necessary checks.

In the longer term, you will need to consider essentials like food and clothes, as well as utility bills like gas, electricity and internet services.

Other costs to consider include council tax (paid whether you rent or own) and service/ground rent charges (if you live in an apartment).

Am I ready for a reference check?

checklist with highlighter pen

Before a person can rent a property they must pass a reference check. This is to find out if you are financially responsible enough to make the necessary payments.

At Quantum we have these checks conducted by a specialist referencing company. You will need to consent to your information being shared and checked beforehand.

As a starting point, we require that each applicant meets the minimum gross income we discussed earlier.

We also require:

References from previous landlords (if any) – We require information from the last three years for our checks. We will also contact these landlords in person.

A credit check – This ensures we know you can pay your bills on time.

Bank details – These include your bank’s name, your account number and your sort code.

Employment details – These include your current employer, job title, earnings and payroll number. We will contact your employer to confirm your details. We will also want to know about any previous employers.

Reference checks have three outcomes: PASS, PASS WITH CONDITIONS and FAIL.

If you PASS WITH CONDITIONS you will need to appoint a guarantor. This is a person who will make any payments that you are unable to pay and is often a parent or other similar figure.

Where a guarantor is required, they will need to undergo a similar check. Their income should be at least 3 times the annual rent.

If you have any concerns over your credit history, you should discuss these with a member of staff before we proceed with referencing. Hiding unsavoury details about your financial history will reduce your chances of securing the property.

By answering all these questions (and doing the relevant homework) you’ll have a much better idea of what to expect during your property search.

And by working with Quantum, you’ll be able to further streamline the renting process.

We don’t just bring an understanding of renting to the table; we have in-depth knowledge of the York area as well.

Call us now on  01904 631 631 and start your journey towards a new home today.

Sell Your Property with 2018 Colour Trends

If you’ve got property for sale in York, you know what people look out for. A nice kitchen, good plumbing and a tidy back garden are all big selling points. But what about the colour scheme? The colours you use to paint your walls and furnish your home can contribute to a sale. We’ve done […]

How To Track Down The Perfect Student Flats In York

This guide is to help you find houses to rent or student flats to let in York. It’ll take you through the earliest stages of renting a student house, such as preparing to view a property and what to look for once you’re there. We’ve also included a handy checklist; download it on your phone […]

Properties for Sale

View all our properties for sale in York & the surrounding area. Use filters to specify search location, radius, property value and more.

Properties for Rent

View all our houses and flats to let in York & the surrounding area. Our viewings include Sundays, so you’ll find your new place fast.

Own a property?

Whether you’re looking to sell your house in York or want to let out your property, our experienced team can help.