Whether you are renting for the first time, upsizing or downsizing, the process of finding your ideal home can be both exciting and daunting. It is so easy to get caught up in the moment that your dream home quickly turns into a house of horrors, so here are six questions to ask up front.
What are the neighbours like?
The more information you can glean about the neighbours – upstairs/downstairs and either side – the better; for example, are they party animals and do they keep unsociable hours?
What are your responsibilities?
If you are moving into a shared flat or bedsit, certain things will be shared. This could be anything from taking turns to put the bins out to ensuring that the fridge is always stocked with milk. It is better to be clear about any expectations upfront. Remember to ask about the communal areas. Shelter has lots of information about tenant responsibilities.
What is included?
Is the property furnished or unfurnished? It is not uncommon for landlords to deliberately tidy up a property to make it more attractive to potential renters. If you are expecting it to be furnished, double-check that what you see is what you get. Property inventory software from a specialist such as https://inventorybase.co.uk/ can help you with this. If you want to bring your own stuff, check with the landlord.
Is it OK to decorate?
We all have different tastes when it comes to décor. Many rental properties are purposefully decorated in neutral shades and your landlord may not want you to change this; alternatively, you may be required to return the décor to its original condition before you move out or risk losing your deposit.
Is there wi-fi?
We live in a world where connection to the internet is essential to our day-to-day lives and a bad wi-fi connection or slow broadband could be a deal-breaker. If you work from home, it is essential that you check this out before signing a contract.
If you drive, this won’t be an issue; if you depend on public transport, it is essential that you check this out. Don’t just take the landlord or agent’s word for this – do your own research and check that you are 100 per cent happy before signing on the dotted line.