If you have never rented before it can be quite a daunting process. Here are my top six tips for tenants on looking for a rental property:
1. Double glazing – is the property double glazed? Single glazed properties in winter will cost more to heat and can have condensation on them which needs wiping off regularly. Check the EPC for the energy efficiency rating as it will give you an idea of the approximate heating costs before you apply for the property.
2. Pets – always ask before a viewing if the property allows pets as some landlords don’t. You should also make the agent aware of any bad credit, children and when you are looking to move as this may affect your suitability. At homes4harrogate we actively encourage landlords to accept pets in their rental properties, but we do require all carpets to be professionally cleaned at the end of the tenancy.
3. Management – find out who manages the property, is it the landlord or the agent? Are they local? Do they have a good reputation? It is vital that you know who to contact and how contactable they are.
4. How much will it cost to move? What are the agents letting fees? What is the deposit amount? How much do you need to pay up front to secure the property? At homes4harrogate I take £200 up front to secure the property (this comes off the first months rent), the deposit is one months rent plus £150 and the admin fee is £175 per property. Some agents request much more than this.
5. What’s included in the let? – who is responsible for the gardening? Do you need your own applicances? Are any bills included? If you have any special requests, for example, you would like to paint a wall, make sure that you put this in writing PRIOR to the tenancy starting so that it forms part of your application.
6. Legal requirements – where will the deposit be protected? (at homes4harrogate we use the TDS Custodial), is there a working smoke alarm on each floor? If there is an alarm system, is it in working order? There are certain legal requirements that all landlords should adhere to and you should never rent a property that doesn’t follow these rules.