10 questions to ask when viewing a rental property
18th February 2019
Finding the perfect rental property is exciting - but sometimes, once you're settled in, you can realise that you should have taken a little more time to ask questions and explore options. DEU Estates has a comprehensive guide to finding the right rental for you.
1. Who's responsible for common areas?
Both flats and houses have common areas such as gardens or kitchens, so ask who maintains those areas, what (if anything) the upkeep costs, and, with outdoor spaces, what you’re allowed to do in those areas eg store bikes, have a barbecue etc.
2. What payment methods are accepted?
Your landlord or lettings agent wants to make it easy for you to pay your rent. Online payments like Direct debits or bank transfers are often preferred because they are secure and convenient. The landlord who wants cash should be avoided, not just because they are probably doing something dodgy, but also because you’ve got no verifiable record of your payments which you need to move somewhere else.
3. How is the area at night/weekends?
Looking at a property during the day or in the week won't necessarily tell you what it will be like at the weekend, or at night. Check it out to be sure you aren’t living in nightclub central, unless that's what you want!
4. What's included in the rent?
Check your inventory and be sure you know whether you need a washing machine, blinds, exactly what furniture is included etc. If you want to use your own possessions, ask if that is possible and arrange for your landlord or property manager to remove the unneeded item.
5. How much can I change?
While many tenancy agreements stipulate that you aren’t allowed to put up shelves or pictures, change the wall colour or plant things in the garden, sometimes you can negotiate around this - but do so before you move in, and get any agreements in writing.
6. What deposit deductions do I need to be aware of?
Every tenant wants to leave their rental with their deposit intact, so exploring what deductions the landlord has made in the past can really help you avoid the problems experienced by others.
7. What's the total cost and what's included?
Double check the overall cost of your rent, the deposit, any agents fees and which (if any) bills are included in that rent. You’ll also want to find out what the Council Tax band is and explore the energy ratings on any installed appliances.
8. Feel the heat
Moving into a new property in summer can leave you feeling cold in winter. Run the hot tap and find out how hot it gets, ask to have the heating turned on, even if it's boiling outside, and try the shower to find out if it's a trickle or a torrent!
9. What's the emergency procedure?
While nobody wants to contemplate a future that contains problems like broken windows or toilets that won’t flush, knowing that there’s a 24 hour number you can call is one way to obtain peace of mind.
10. What insurance do I need?
While your landlord should have insurance, it’s never wise to assume it will cover your prized possessions. A contents insurance policy allows you to be certain that your guitar, iPad or collectible Lego mini-figures will be replaced if anything goes wrong.
At DEU Estates we believe we’ve got the best properties, the simplest contracts and the most straightforward letting agents - we can answer all your questions, give you the information you need and ensure your rental property contains no nasty surprises! Just contact us today on 0113 275 1010.