When looking to rent a property you should always ask the letting agent these important questions.
Properties in the rental sector are always at high demand and it can be very competitive but don't let that bully you into not checking everything before you get the keys.
When getting started it is a good idea to register your criteria with a few trusted local agents, this is beneficial as they can inform you as soon as something is live that fits your criteria.
Here are some questions you can ask an agent before signing a rental contract:
- What does the rent include?
Every tenant will agree a monthly rental cost but it is important to confirm what this includes. Typically a monthly rent only includes the home itself, not bills or contents insurance. Don't forget a lot of landlords ask for evidence or your current earnings and agents often credit check you on the landlords behalf.
Tenants are not allowed to be charged a set up fee and should report the landlord/letting agent to their regulators if asked to do so.
- How much is the deposit and is there an initial holding deposit?
When paying a deposit you should always ask what deposit protection scheme the holder uses. Some agents take a holding deposit to secure your application but this goes towards your full deposit. Landlords are legally required to safeguard their tenants' deposit with one of the Government backed protection schemes. Dinsdales use MyDeposits.
- What restrictive clauses are there in the rental contract?
Are you allowed to redecorate to make the house to your own style? Are you allowed pets if you decide to get one or you pet sit?
- How energy efficient is the property?
When heating the property, does it escape or does it heat the house up quick? How much are your gas and electricity bills? What is the energy performance rating for the property?
- Does the property feel secure?
Do all the windows lock and open ok? Are you happy with the roads lighting? See how much contents insurance will cost for this address, the more prone places in that area are to burglary, the more it will cost.
- Who is responsible for managing the property?
Does the landlord self manage or is it managed through the agent on behalf of the landlord? If there is a problem you need to know who to contact. If there is a problem out of hours, you need to know the procedure.
- Is there enough storage space for your needs?
When whizzing around a property it is easy to miss this point on a viewing. Is there storage built in or will you need to think about buying storage furniture.
- Does the property benefit from good providers?
Does the property have the providers you currently use for wifi etc? If not which provider reaches the property, do they support your needs?
- Whose responsibility is it for maintaining the gardens?
9 times out of 10 it is the tenants responsibility to up keep the gardens like it is to look after and maintain the home.
All questions should help you make a decision. The key is to view the property inside, visit the area at day and night and then ask all questions that will ensure you know the property is for you.