The amount of time spent on viewing depends on the size of the property. On average, we spend 20-30 minutes on looking around our future homes. Below is a list of tips for effective property viewing before renting. The list will help you make an informed decision, so you don’t live to regret it.
What to Look out for Inside
Signs of Damp
If there is mouldy smell or if you can spot watermarks on the walls or ceilings there might be a damp problem. Also, it’s a good idea to take a close look at the skirting boards and window frames.
Signs of Pest and Vermin – Mice, Rats and Cockroaches.
Broken vents or air bricks as well as other cracks and gaps in windows and doors can allow pests and vermin to get into through.
It’s worth assessing how much storage space you actually need. Take into consideration aspects such as space to store your vacuum cleaner, bucket and mop, spare towels and linen as well as all other junk.
If you are planning to move with your furniture it is a good idea to measure up all rooms. It can be quite frustrating if your beloved furniture doesn’t fit in your new home. Take time and plan the layout carefully.
State of Windows
Take a close look at all windows. Look for cracks and peeling off paint. If you can put your finger into a wooden frame the frame might be rotten. Also, check for any signs of condensation between double-glazed windowpanes. If something is not quite right, there might be damp and condensation problem in the property.
Furniture and Appliances
If your rented home comes with furniture and appliances check them to make sure they are usable. If there are any problems, report them immediately.
It rarely occurs to future tenants to count the sockets. However, this is a very important aspect. In today’s gadget driven world, it is important that you make sure there are enough electric sockets to meet your needs. Additionally, the location of the sockets can be equally significant.
Plumbing and Heating
Run the taps and the shower. Make sure water pressure isn’t too low. Ask about the age of the boiler. Do the radiators actually work? Find out what type of heating there is. It can make a significant difference to your bills.
What to Look out for Outside
Facing Direction of the House/Flat
Most people like their homes to be well lit, bright and warm. Unfortunately, some homes can be frustratingly dark and dingy due to their positioning. Take a compass if you need to but do check whether your future home has enough light.
It is always advisable that you research the area you will be living in. Is there a nearby school? Can it cause issues? Are there shops and pubs? How far away is a bus stop or a train station? Is the area peaceful and quiet at night or is it an epicentre of ecstatic youth culture?
Other Important Aspects of Renting
Cost of Renting
The actual rent payment is just one cost you need to consider when renting. You will most likely be required to pay a security deposit as well. It could be anything up to five weeks’ rent where the annual rent is less than £50,000 and six weeks’ rent where the annual rent is £50,000 or more. From 1st June 2019 it is illegal for your landlord to force you to pay more. However, you may be asked to pay rent in advance. There’s no legal limit on how many monthly or weekly advance payments you can be charged. It is also advisable to check the council tax band and rate.
Length of Contract
Many tenancies start off as fixed term contracts, often for 6 or 12 months. You can’t usually end a fixed-term tenancy during the fixed term unless there’s a break clause that allows you or the landlord to end the tenancy early. Check if you will be able to renew your tenancy when a fixed-term contract ends. Your landlord must give you notice if they want you to leave. You could stay on a periodic or rolling contract if you don’t renew with another fixed term. These typically roll from month to month. You can end a periodic or rolling tenancy by giving correct notice.
All in all, to save yourself the disappointment and frustration it’s worth considering all of the above points. Never rush into your decision. Consider your choice carefully and always ask questions. The more you find out about your future home the lesser the chance you will regret your choice.
If you would like to talk to us about renting a property, please contact us.