If you’re considering renting a property and going via an agent, you need to make sure that you’re prepared and asking them the right questions before taking a property on.
So what should you be asking before signing that rental contract?
We let you know in this blog post what should be on your checklist…
What does the rental price include?
Obviously, every tenant will agree a monthly rental cost but it’s important to confirm what is included, e.g. any bills or service charges. An agent or landlord will want evidence of your current earnings, and also any references from previous landlords.
What deposit will I have to pay?
Find out how much you will have to put down money-wise before you take on the property, and you can also check that the landlord/agent uses a ‘deposit protection scheme’. Landlords are legally required to safeguard their tenants’ deposits with one of three Government backed protection schemes.
Are there any restrictions when it comes to renting the property?
Are you allowed to redecorate the property, or have a pet? Many landlords will allow a cat or dog, for example, but may require a bigger deposit.
How is the property heated?
What are your monthly gas and electricity bills likely to be? Unless it is a new-build, it is worth asking for an indication of the potential bills.
Is the property nice and secure?
Are there decent locks on windows and doors, and is there a working alarm system? Having these (or not having them) can really affect the cost of your home contents insurance.
Who is responsible for actually managing the property?
You need to establish who your first point of contact is should you have an issue with the property- is it the landlord or is an experienced property management team (agent) acting on their behalf? Is there an out-of-hours number you can contact is you have a boiler/plumbing issue in the middle of the night?
Does the property have broadband or wifi?
Always check this if this something you need (especially with more people working from home at the moment!) – don’t assume that a property will have it, or that it will be fast, it might be something that you have to organise yourself.
Does the property have a garden, and if so, who is responsible for it?
This is a crucial one to ask, especially if the garden is perhaps shared with another property. Is it up to you, or will the landlord/agent arrange a regular gardener? Make sure you check.