What to ask when viewing a property to rent

When you view a property to rent it definitely pays to be organised and ready to make an application should you find something suitable. Of course, you may fall in love with a property instantly but you should balance this reaction with a rational assessment of your expectations and requirements. Although you will no doubt have your own list of priorities to ask about, don’t forget the following:

1.  Who is responsible for that?

If you’re looking at a flat or shared house, there could be common areas such as the garden, kitchen, hallway and courtyards and it’s worth asking who is responsible for maintenance and whether their upkeep will cost you anything extra.

2.  What’s included?

What you see during a viewing may not be what you get with the property. Make sure you ask exactly what is included so you know what else, in terms of appliances and furniture, you may need to provide.
You may also find that some utilities are included in the rent – if they are not, make sure you factor these additional costs into your budget.

3.  Who do I contact if something goes wrong?

This could be the Landlord, the letting agent or someone else working for the landlord. Either way, if your heating suddenly stops working you’ll want to know who to call.

4.  What’s the area like? 

This is an especially important consideration for a lone tenant – if you are likely to be out late at night on your own, find out if the area is well lit and whether you’d feel safe walking around alone. It’s worth taking a look around at the area at all times of the day – what’s the traffic like, is there likely to be noise all night, will I be able to park my car?

5.  What references do you require?

Be ready with all the information that may be required – this is likely to be copies of recent payslips, ID that shows you have the Right to Rent in the UK, a copy of a current utility bill/bank statement showing your current address and details of your current landlord if this applies. This will ensure that you are able to make a quick application as soon as you find something you like.

6.  What will happen to my deposit?

If you have an Assured Shorthold Tenancy, landlords and letting agents are required by law to register your deposit with an approved Tenancy Deposit Scheme. The deposit is then either held by the landlord, the agent or by the scheme itself. You should receive details of the scheme, explaining where the deposit is held.

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