Viewing rental properties, tips?

(20 Posts)
FingersXrossed Tue 08-Sep-20 13:51:58

Need to get a rental place asap as our buyer gets the keys to this place before the end of the month. We're in Scotland and got a couple of places to view.

Is there any advice you can give me on things to look for/questions to ask? Things that the landlord may ask? I've never rented before and am a bit nervous and unsure of what to expect. Thanks

OP’s posts: |
Bowerbird5 Tue 08-Sep-20 13:58:31

Check under the carpets in the corners of outside walls for damp if it is possible. Check around guttering etc for big damp patches.
Check type of heating and how long it has been in ( winter is coming)

If you are staying a long time ask if you are allowed to decorate.

Justpassingtime1 Tue 08-Sep-20 17:40:45

How long are you planning to stay there? And most importantly how long will the contract be? Make sure you know what notice they and you need to terminate/renew.
Read all the paperwork carefully before you sign.
What are the neighbours like?
If you are going through an agent it should be a bit more relaxed
and easier to ask questions.

FingersXrossed Wed 09-Sep-20 10:46:28

Thanks, just planning on staying 6 months max. Was really hoping to buy something this year and I'm a little nervous about renting as you hear some horror stories. Am also worried about them doing credit checks and it buggering up my credit report (which is currently excellent).

We saw one place yesterday, it wasn't great, someone else got it anyway. Seeing another today, it looks a bit nicer, will see what happens.

OP’s posts: |
chromis Wed 09-Sep-20 11:13:20

If its that short term a rental I'd take any place that would rent to you and meets your minimum standards. Definitely check heating as you'll be there over winter.

We rented between house sales and ended up staying there 3 years as we liked the area. Liked having someone else pay to fix things as well!!

chromis Wed 09-Sep-20 11:16:42

Landlord/agent will want to know no of people, no of children, any pets, any smokers, any strange businesses being run from home, any extended family members permanently staying, and can you pay the rent.

They will credit check/check you work where you say you do too.

chromis Wed 09-Sep-20 11:17:44

We didn't have rental references, but they can see your mortgage payment history on the credit check which was enough.

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Tabitha005 Wed 09-Sep-20 12:10:33

Definitely check the efficiency of the heating and hot water system if you can - likewise the water pressure (having lived in a flat with absolutely crap water pressure for way too long when I was renting, the dribble from the shower made for a really miserable bathroom experience)! The age of the boiler isn't necessarily important, as long as it's been serviced and maintained - and obviously any landlord must have a gas safety certification carried out annually.

FingersXrossed Thu 10-Sep-20 11:40:32

Oooft, I had no idea how much competition there is for places! It is crazy. My husband and I have good salaries, non smoking, no kids or pets etc. Perhaps they're expecting us to go for somewhere fancier?! But I don't want to piss away my deposit when this place is sold.

Just been rejected from even viewing another place because two people have already applied for it! I've applied (note of interest) for the place we viewed yesterday but they're seeing other people as well so who knows what will happen. It's very stressful.

OP’s posts: |
fabulousathome Thu 10-Sep-20 12:14:01

If you were able to pay 6 months upfront do they still do a credit check? Just thought it might be an option and would be attractive to a landlord.

FingersXrossed Thu 10-Sep-20 13:53:32

Do people do that?! Not sure we have that kind of money lying around.

OP’s posts: |
Nyclair Thu 10-Sep-20 19:56:32

Definitely check the water pressure in the shower otherwise I go on if I could see myself living in the place comfortably for x amount of time

ireallyamthewalrus Thu 10-Sep-20 20:25:14

Do they know you’re not planning to stay long? If so that may be annoying for a landlord (although agents would probably like it as they get another fee). I don’t know if things differ in Scotland but ideally you want a six month contract with the ability to move to a six month rolling one to tie in better with your house purchase. Otherwise you could find you buy a place in month 7 but have to pay for 5 more.

Asdf12345 Thu 10-Sep-20 20:31:53

We would always try and pretend we were going to be long term (nobody ever twigged this was clearly rubbish with the nature of our address history). Given the costs of finding a tennent expect to find getting a contract very hard if you are open that it is for such a short period, unless you offer to pay extra and potentially it all up front. (I understand from a family friend that the cost of finding a tennant writes off about nine months of profit for her houses).

Ask about schools, GP, local plans for development, anything that makes you look set to stay for decades.

Asdf12345 Thu 10-Sep-20 20:35:06

Offering to pay the whole contract and double deposit up front seems to have been the clincher for us once or twice. Generally it seems the double deposit (never provided guarantors) and first month is all people actually want and then rent monthly.

Justpassingtime1 Thu 10-Sep-20 21:19:10

You cannot legally just double up the deposit. I think the most the LL
can take now is 5 weeks rent (which has to be protected) Check this
as I am not sure about Scotland.
However I think you can pay the 6 months rent upfront but most LLs
do not like/are suspicious of this.
As well as a gas check, an electrical check should have been done,
an EPC and a Right to Rent check .

FingersXrossed Fri 11-Sep-20 09:22:08

Hi, we've managed to get a place! Phew. It's in the same town we live in now so not moving far. Couldn't believe the information we both had to give the letting agency or whoever online, last 3 months payslips and bank statements. I don't know how people in a less favourable financial situation or older people not experienced with the internet manage all this, it's pretty crazy. Surprised we didn't have to write a begging letter about why we should get the property. hmm

But it's one less thing to worry about. Just hoping my flat sale proceeds without delay because I'm not sure what would happen with the rental if it fell through.

OP’s posts: |
hapagirl Fri 11-Sep-20 09:33:28

Take photos of every scratch / stain OP and take serial numbers of the white goods. When we moved out of our last rental, the LL tried to charge us for water stains above the radiator where someone had obviously dried laundry. Had photo of the day we moved it to prove it was always there. Also he tried to charge us for a new washing machine because he said we broke his. Had serial number to prove it was 15 years old so if it was broken ( it wasn’t when we moved out) it would have been from wear and tear. It all went to arbitration but we had all the evidence. It’s tedious but worth it because some LLs will try it on when you move out.

CorianderLord Fri 11-Sep-20 09:46:43

Ask if the ceilings ever leaked

HooseDilemma Fri 11-Sep-20 09:54:18

Echo the advice to take loads of photos (not just rely on the usually blurry unfocused inventory photos). We took over a hundred of our current rental, documenting in great detail. Well backed up and put on a physical cd for when we leave. We also offered a copy of the cd to the landlord (more as a way of making him aware we had done so).

Also go through the inventory with a fine tooth comb. Both on paper and while cross checking the house. We usually both do the whole house separately, room by room adding details to the paperwork before we sign. Easiest done when the rental is empty and just after your initial clean. We then initial and date all our additional findings before taking a copy and returning to the estate agents.

Yes, we might sound bonkers, but I've never lost a penny of my deposit (because we also look after where we live), but have had plenty of landlords try it on. Lots seem to think of it as a bonus income stream!

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