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Viewing Properties Checklist

So you’ve narrowed down your search for that perfect rental unit and you’ve made the appointments to view the properties. Now you want to put together a checklist so that you don’t forget anything – and the following should help.

–      Are there bills included in the rental unit? Most likely not if it’s a self-contained property, but you won’t know unless you ask

–      Will the property be cleaned prior to move in? Will this include the cooker, the toilet, and windows? Is it possible to get the carpets shampooed?

–      How secure is the property? Does the alarm system work and are there locks on the doors and windows?

–      When looking around take note of the things you may need and if the property comes furnished you might be able to negotiate the additional pieces into the agreement.

–      Are all of your appliance needs met? Does the property have a cooker, fridge/freezer, dishwasher, washing machine and dryer?

–      If there’s a shower check to see what the water pressure is like – you wouldn’t want to get a surprise once you move in.

–      Take a good look around and make notes of any repairs that need to be made and check to be sure the landlord intends on having them repaired prior to your arrival.

–      Be aware of any outside noises such as traffic, train lines, shops or pubs. You might want to check it out at different times of the day in order to be sure you can live with it and get the sleep you require.

–      Check out the parking situation. If there isn’t a designated spot for you and you need to park on the street, it for residents only and will you be able to get a permit?

–      What is the Council tax band and how much was the current year’s cost?

–      If there’s a garden, do you have access and is it private or do you have to share it with other tenants? Are you responsible for maintaining the garden?

–      What is the source of heat, gas or electric? If there’s gas in the unit the landlord should be able to provide a gas safety certificate.

–      How much do you need to come up with to cover the security deposit and which deposit scheme does the landlord use.

These items should help in reminding you which questions you need to ask which will in turn assist you in your decision if there is more than one property that you think you’re interested in. Comparing ‘apples to apples’ is always the best plan of action so having a Viewing Properties Checklist would be a good idea.


Rental Properties: Understanding the Basics

There will likely be many questions that will cross your mind prior to renting a property, but this is just a basic list of a few of the more common questions.

1.Will I need to pay fees to the agent?

You won’t need to pay an introductory fee for just registering with an agent however there will be fees for such administrative tasks as referencing and if you sign on from inventories and preparing the tenancy agreement. Letting Links is an alternative to traditional agents as it’s a completely free service for both landlords and tenants.

2. What is a holding deposit and do I get it back?

A holding deposit is usually a small amount that is requested in order to show your interest in the property. If the landlord does not go ahead with the tenancy it will be returned to you. If for some reason you decide not to go ahead and sign, all or a portion will be kept to cover administrative costs incurred. After referencing it will be put towards either the first month’s rent or security deposit.

3. What sum of money will I require at the beginning of the tenancy?

Generally you will need to have enough for first month’s rent as well as a month to six weeks’ worth of rent to be held as a security deposit towards damage. Assuming there are no damages at the end of tenancy you will receive this amount back at the end.

4. What information will I need to supply to Letting Agent?

You will be required to supply the names and addresses of your referees, as well as previous landlords and possibly your employer, so
that they will be able to verify your ability to pay for your rent. If self-employed it may be necessary to supply the contact information for your accountant.

5. As a Tenant what are my responsibilities?

All of your responsibilities should be written in the tenancy agreement. Make sure you take the time to read it very carefully and if you are unsure of something, ask your agent to explain. Do not sign anything until you feel comfortable you understand fully.

6. What is a Tenancy Agreement?

This is the legal document that outlines your responsibilities as tenant, your rights and what you can expect from your landlord, how much rent you are expected to pay, and the term of tenancy. This contract is between you and the landlord will most likely be an Assured Shorthold Tenancy under the Housing Act 1988.

7. How long can I expect to wait for referencing before I can move in?

Each agent is different however it can take between five and ten working days by the time they contact references, make sure funds clear for the first month’s rent and deposit, and inventories arranged.

8. What is the normal tenancy term?

Most agents like to sign an agreement for six months. They rarely sign for periods over a year. After this period you can take out an extension or renew your tenancy agreement.

9. What if I want to leave earlier or stay for a longer period?

Getting a longer period is usually as easy as signing a new agreement. If you think you might want to leave earlier however, you should have a break clause included in the original agreement or you will be
responsible for the entire term of the original tenancy agreement.

10. What other bills would I be responsible for?

You will need to take care of the utilities (gas, water, electricity), the Council Tax on the property, and of course telephone and T.V.

11. How do I get my Deposit back?

At the end of tenancy the landlord will usually do a “checkout” with you, where they check for missing items or damage. If the property is in satisfactory condition you will receive your deposit shortly after leaving the tenancy. Just remember you are not allowed to use the deposit as your last month’s rent.




June 2024
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