renting - what to look for(20 Posts)
Have decided I can delay no longer and since we have to be out of our house in five weeks we are looking at rented properties tomorrow. Does anyone have any good tips as to what in particular to look for/questions to ask. Never rented before.
Will watch this thread - probably heading to rented too....
Im loking atm, and Ive found a place I really like- the most important things I looked for were the same as if I was buying- room sizes,storage space,garden etc as well as location and price.
Also I did look for places listed as long term tenancy rather than short, as I don't want the landlord to suddenly decide to sell up( although selling isn't looking good atm). It might be possible to also find out if the property is owned out right or on a buy to let- as this could make a difference with interest rates going up rent may go up too.
If decoration is important to you, look for somewhere that needs work doing as you may be able to get the landlord to reduce the rent for a while if you agree to decorate. that way you get it how you want it too!
Make sure your landlord/landlady is easily contactable or agency can act timeously if you have a problem...
Make sure that there is a pre and post check of the property and get a clear idea of what your responsibilities are wrt the maintenance of the property
Is the property furnished/unfurnished? When can you move in? How long is the contract? How much notice do you need to give to leave? Do they inspect the property? How often is the gas checked - can they provide a certificate? How much is the deposit? How much are they agents handling fees? Umm can't think of anything else, but let me know.
Oh, who is managing the property the landlord or agent? Either can be good or bad.
Does an independent person do an intinerary of the property prior to you moving in?
our rent gets adjusted every 2-3 years, inflation linked so between 2-5% increase every 2-3 years on our agreement. Also check the carpets, if there is any white goods in the kitchen, I would recommend you rent through an agent as they tend to get work done on your property should need be, a friend of mine rented from her landlady and had endless trouble getting things fixed etc.
See that the garden is in reasonable condition, they don't expect you to garden, but our garden had weeds hip high at the back that we had to have cut down on our cost.
By law they have to have a gas safety inspection every 12 months. Our agreement states that the landlord is responsible for the structure of the building and the upkeep of the plumbing including boiler etc.
Bills - make sure that you won't be paying for any previous tenants accounts ..
I think it is more expensive but a better deal to be able to go through an agency ... we did a private rental and our landlady thought nothing of using her key to come and coming into the flat when she liked .... we were v naive...
Ask landlord for an idea of what you will be paying bill wise - will gas and elec be metered or pre-pay ...
Other bits of legislation, your deposit needs to be protected in one of the government schemes and as of October (I know that won't apply to your timescale but just might be useful for someone in the future) the landlord needs to show you an energy certificate.
check if they accept pets/smokers if you have/are these. If they do accept them then sometimes they charge an extra deposit for damage caused by this.
I have also seen landlords who wont accept children!
Also I think its law that you can't have open flue boilers in bedrooms now.
For us, location was everything (due to DS starting reception in Sept) so we moved into the catchment area of the school we wanted and then went on the waiting list - this was back in Mar. When it came down to it, we only had a choice of 2 unfurnished family houses which ticked the right boxes. We offered the asking price on both which was just as well since one reply was that the landlord had decided that he wanted £400 pcm more - needless to say, we moved into the other house.
I'd go with an agency that is reputable in your area. Its worth asking around. To us the most important was to have a place that the agency managed, therefore when something broke down the agency sent round someone straight away, as opposed to a dodgy landlord that will sit on it for ages. A proper agency will also hold your deposit in a safe registered account and do all the gas safety checks annually.
Nagapie - Don't suppose you were renting a house in Golders Green ? Our old landlady there also used to come in whenever she pleased and saw nothing wrong with it. in fact she would tell me i needed to scrub the toilet better !!
Storage - make sure there's adequate wardrobe space and cupboard stuff for all your stuff. Who do you call when something breaks: landlord/agent? Who are the neighbours? Who's responsible for any shared communal areas and any service/maintenance charges? Are bins/parking shared? What's the notice period? Make sure u can give notice after 6 mths. Will it be professionally cleaned before you move in? Do you need to get it professionally cleaned before you move out? Check kitchen has everything you need and last but not least, make sure water pressure in bath/shower is ok.
We're not all bad landlords when we do it ourselves!
im a landlord and i use an agent to manage my let now, if offers me more protection as a landlord.Pre agent i always attended to repairs etc quickly but got fed up and felt like i was 'on call' sometimes when a certain tenant kept ringing for silly things, some of which i wasnt prepered to get involved in, example the neighbours were having noisy sex and she wanted me to complain to them!!! The agency keeps me informed of everything and as i own and previously lived in the house im friendly with the immediate neighbours, and they keep me up to date for sure..but i dont have to deal with miniscule issues which is great.
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