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Renting has become very popular in the past decade or so and when you’re looking for a rental property you need to remember although you don’t own the bricks and mortar it’s still going to be your home. Make sure it’s somewhere you’re going to be happy and comfortable living in by asking questions and making sure everything is as it should be before you sign the tenancy agreement.
Before you visit an Estate Agent decide in the area you would most like to live in and then decide on the distance you would be prepared to travel to get to and from work. If you have children make sure you are close to a school, parks and local shops so that travelling isn’t a problem. Find out about transport services before you start to look at properties because this will save you disappointment if you find something you like and discover it’s not close to a bus or railway station.
Once you’ve found some properties make notes so that you can compare them when you get home. Take photos and check out how each property rates for kitchen and bathroom appliances and décor. Make sure that all the necessary safety certificates are up to date. For instance, if you have gas appliances then you should be able to see the latest gas safety check record. Each storey should have a working smoke alarm fitted and any furniture should comply with fire safety regulations.
If you have a pet, make sure you tell your Estate Agents that you only want to look at available properties where pets are allowed. There are some properties that don’t allow pets and once you’ve moved in you must abide by the regulations in your lease, which would mean getting rid of your pet.
Decor and Furniture
If the property is particularly scruffy, ask the landlord to repaint throughout, he or she may only do this once you have signed the lease, but you can ask for a promise in writing to have the work completed by the time you move in. Make sure all the furniture is fit to use and if anything is broken that it is mended or replaced as soon as possible.
If your property has a garden and it is a flat or a converted house, find out if other tenants have a right to use it. Some shared properties have a communal garden which might not be convenient if you have neighbours who are constantly outside your lounge window.
Check the amount of deposit payable and ask for the receipt from the Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme which all landlords must pay into if you have a shorthold tenancy.
Find out if there are any other payments to made on top of the rent, it could be that you will be asked to pay the service charges or maintenance payments for a communal garden.
Once you are happy with the property and have asked all your questions, read the tenancy agreement carefully, or have your solicitor look over it and then you’ll be ready to move in and make the rented property, your home.