Are you on the hunt for a new rental property? It’s important to be prepared for rental viewings, so come with a list of questions to ask the letting agent or landlord.
Write down their responses or save them to your phone, to help ease the renting process.
Here are some important questions to ask at a rental viewing:
1. Are bills included in the rent?
In most rental properties, you’ll be responsible for all household-related bills linked to a rental property, so ask the existing tenant or landlord for a comprehensive estimate, to give you an idea of how much you’ll be paying per month. Find out if you’ll be able to change energy and broadband providers to ones with cheaper deals. It’s also a good idea to check that you won’t be responsible for expenditures that are usually covered by the owner of the property, such as service charges, building insurance, and ground rent. This way, you’ll be able to evaluate whether the property is within your budget.
2. Who will be my first point of contact?
It’s important to know whether your primary contact will be the letting agent or the landlord. This will allow you to understand what support can be offered to you out of hours in case of an emergency.
3. Can I redecorate?
When it comes to redecorating, it’s important to understand the landlord’s policy, to avoid losing your deposit further down the line. If your landlord won’t let you decorate, ask them if you can install some picture hooks. If your landlord isn’t keen on you repainting or adding wallpaper, you can use photos or canvases to add a splash of your own personality onto the walls.
4. What is the area like?
Enquiring about the area surrounding the rental property is a great way to get a feel for the quality of life you could be living. Find out what the area is like and if you’d feel comfortable walking alone. Are there any popular bars or clubs in the area that you would be able to hear from your property?
Ask about what public transport is like at night. If you want to get into the city centre or to work via the bus or train, you want to ensure this can be done relatively quickly and cheaply.
5. How old is the boiler?
Despite being the landlord’s obligation, if the rental property has a boiler that appears to be close to breaking, it could have a significant effect on your time living there.
When you move in, the last thing you want to discover is that the hot water doesn’t work, and the water pressure is poor.
All rental properties must now have an Energy Performance Certificate with a minimum E rating.
6. Who are the neighbours?
Your neighbours are important, especially if you’re looking to rent a flat or a terraced house where you’ll be living in close quarters with them. A young family might need early mornings, while a group of young adults may have late nights. There’s a chance the landlord or agent won’t know this information, but it’s worth asking.
7. What parking does this property have?
If the property has off-road parking, you’ll need a permit from the council, so you’ll need to find out how much it costs per year, and whether you can apply for more than one permit if you have two cars.
Even if you have a permit, if the road is busy, you may be forced to park further away from your property, which can be inconvenient.
8. Is there anything else you think I need to know?
This can give the lettings agent or landlord a chance to disclose any other information about the property that you haven’t covered yet.
For more tenant advice, contact our expert local agents.