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Is it possible to rent a house without viewing it first?

(14 Posts)
FreddoBaggyMac Wed 14-Oct-09 10:50:39

Hi. Due to DH's job relocation, he, me and the four small DCs are moving to a location which is a 4+ hour drive away from where we live. We were originally going to buy a house immediately and have all been down there once to suss out the area... not the most fun I have to say, three nights with the six of us in one hotel room and looking around houses with four DCs under 6!

DH's work are taking ages to give salary details etc so we haven't been able to put an offer in on a house yet. We need to have an adress there by early December to apply for a place for dd2 in Reception in 2010, and we're also in danger of losing dd1s place in the lovely school we've found there until we have an address in the catchment area... so we've come to the conclusion that we're going to have to rent.

Have seen one particular house on rightmove under a reputable agent that would br great for us, the location is fab, very close to school for DCs and the station for DH.

However, our problem is that the agents say we are legally obliged to view the property before we rent it from them. There is no way we can do this for at least three weeks with the distance it is away from us and all the other stuff we have going on. The property has just become available and I'm worried someone else will have got it by then. It would also mean DH having to take a day's holiday and drive there and back in a day which is extra hassle we really don't need!

We're sure the house will be fine for us, and we're only planning on being there for six months or so anyway. Does anyone know if there's a way we can get around the viewing thing and just enter into the letting agreement from here ready to move down there in mid November? Thanks for your help!

nancy75 Wed 14-Oct-09 10:53:13

i have never heard of this before, not the same i know but my parents sold their house to somebody that had never seen it, so i cant see why it would be a legal thing for renting.

nancy75 Wed 14-Oct-09 10:54:00

is there anybody at your dh's work that you could ask to go and view it on your behalf?

sagan Wed 14-Oct-09 10:54:44

I really, really would NOT recommend you do it. It is true that you have to look around first, or it certainly was back when I worked in lettings. And they may well want to meet you in person to get your documents for the reference check, otherwise you could just be anybody iyswim. If you put the deposit down for the reference check they should hold the property for you, possibly with a non refundable months rent and deposit in advance too as a safeguard for the landlord. There will then be nothing stopping you showing up on the day and taking the property, and if they are worth their salt they will give you an inventory along with the keys to check as soon as you move in - there will then be no disputes abou the state of the property, especially if you haven't had chance for a proper look around.

FreddoBaggyMac Wed 14-Oct-09 11:00:42

I agree completely nancy - it seems ridiculous! But I've spoken to two different letting agents and they both say we would have to view before they would reserve the property for us! I gathered from one of them that it was something to do with us legally being able to back out from the agreement if we didn't (??) but we'd be happy to sign something to say we wouldn't do that...

FreddoBaggyMac Wed 14-Oct-09 11:08:27

Sagan - there are loads of internal and external photos of the propery online and it looks fine, we're happy to risk it not being perfect as it's only going to be a very temporary thing for us and the location of it is definitely great!! We's be happy to put the deposit down for the reference check for them to hold the property, and then put the deposit down of six months rent down, and we could send them the documents they want (or perhaps get copies verified by a solicitor here??) but the agents just seem to be stating categorically that they will not take any deposit or anything from us unless we come and have a look at the house! maybe I just need to nag and plead with them a bit more grin
Thanks nancy - I suppose it might be worth asking if someone could view it on our behalf... I'm not sure who we could ask though as we don't know anyone there well enough and dh's work are generally less than helpful about this stuff...

FreddoBaggyMac Wed 14-Oct-09 11:09:03

oops i meant deposit of six WEEKS rent!!!

nancy75 Wed 14-Oct-09 11:09:53

where is it? i'll go and have a look if you like , i love looking round houses grin

FreddoBaggyMac Wed 14-Oct-09 11:20:44

Thanks nancy grin It's in Stourbridge.

meltedmarsbars Wed 14-Oct-09 11:29:00

I moved in here without seeing it first (but dh had) and we're still here 5 years later...

Agree with Sagans view re legality of backing out, etc...

nancy75 Wed 14-Oct-09 11:30:41

maybe not - dont even know where that is!

meltedmarsbars Wed 14-Oct-09 11:34:02

Stourbridge has the Severn Valley Railway!

skybluewinking Wed 14-Oct-09 11:34:39

When I worked in lettings we always said no to this also. It is frustrating for you,
1.But what if the house is disappointing when you see it and you back out.
2. The agents need to vet you,the Landlord will ask for the agents opinion of you.Unpalateable truth I know!
3.The agents might also have someone already interested.
4.Lastly, I would always have gone for someone who wanted a house longer than 6 months, it is much better for the LL and agent, (sorry!)Have you told the agent it is 6 months? If not don't! (but have a 6 month break clause for sure)

FreddoBaggyMac Wed 14-Oct-09 11:44:31

That's useful advice sky - thanks!

To be honest with four small children and a removal van full of stuff on the doorstep there is NO WAY we would back out from renting at the last moment even if the house was a pit grin

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