If you live in a rented property or rented accommodation and your tenancy is nearly up, or if you are merely leaving home for the first time and don’t mind paying rent as a way of getting out of your parents’ house, then it is probably about time you start looking for a new rental property. But how do you find the one that is right for you?
Picking out the Home…
Obviously the first thing you are going to be thinking of when looking for a new rental property is the kind of home you want. But what does that mean exactly? Well, several different factors might come into play before you settle on the most ideal property for you, and these are just some of the main things you should consider in the search process:
- Think about the surrounding and local area in which the property is situated; does it have everything you need? If the town centre isn’t within walking distance, is there a cluster of local shops nearby? Can you get to work easily from the property too?
- Do you want a furnished or unfurnished property? While the latter allows you to decorate and personalise the space as you please, the former saves you a bit of money before you move in. Be aware to check exactly what “furnished” means, however; sometimes it includes all mod cons, other times it is limited to bedding and bulky furniture only.
- Take you time looking around several properties in your chosen area before settling on the perfect place. Keep an eye out for any mould or rising damp, and test taps and switches if you can as well.
- If you are worried about the fixtures and fittings, you can also request to see a complete quantity surveyor’s report to put your mind at rest, as this will confirm all the waterworks and electrics are in good working order and the building itself is structurally sound.
- Finally, do you want to live with other flatmates or housemates, or are you looking for something a little more private? You can usually find somewhere a bit nicer if you are willing to split the costs, but that can also mean living with relative strangers; something even the most patient of people can have trouble getting used to.
Choosing the Right Landlord…
Although the home is important, it is also vital that you find a reliable and trustworthy landlord who will do right by you during your tenancy. But how do you get a feel for a landlord (or even a lettings agents) before you have actually lived somewhere they own? Well there are several aspects of starting a new tenancy that you might want to take into account, including the following:
- How many properties in the landlord currently looking after? Will they be able to spare the time to make sure yours is in a good condition for the duration of the tenancy?
- Does the landlord live locally? A good landlord should be on call if something goes wrong, so make sure they are willing to surrender accurate and up-to-date contact details too before signing any kind of contract.
- Are their agency fees on top of the normal deposit? Can both be paid by direct debit? It is always a good idea to get on top of the financial demands before you sign for a rental property to see if it is within your budget.
- Can you get in touch with any previous tenants to attest to the landlord’s reliability? This is a useful way to get a feel for what it will be like to deal with them on a regular basis should you need any repairs or maintenance done at the property.
- Finally, is there any room to negotiate on the monthly rental price? Although most tenants want a trustworthy landlord, they are equally looking for tenants who won’t cause trouble during their stay – so if you get along, you might be able to convince them to lower the price, even if it is just by a little bit!