What must you remember to ask your letting agent?

Fri 26 Sep 2014

Viewing properties to let should be a fun experience for every prospective tenant; after all, every front door you walk through could lead to your dream home that will give you many years of happiness.

But that is not to say you should be too relaxed when it comes to browsing the bedrooms, surveying the study and gazing at the garden.

In fact, there are a number of important questions you should put to your letting agent, who will be happy to give you the information you need to make an informed decision over whether a particular rental property is the one for you.

Here, we take a look at some of the questions you simply have to ask your agent when you meet.

  • What is included in my monthly rent?

Most tenancies will involve you paying all of the utility bills and council tax on top of the rent. However, in some cases, the rental price may include some bills such as heating or water. As such, you need to know exactly what the headline price includes if you are to accurately work out whether you can afford the property or not.

  • What is the landlord’s situation?

One of the most convenient features of renting a property rather than buying it is that you can move as frequently as you wish to. In a world of changing employment and altering circumstances, that can be extremely useful. However, if you hope to remain in one home for a lengthy period, it is worth finding out how likely a landlord is to agree to this or whether they may want their property back before you would otherwise have chosen to move. So do your homework to find out if the landlord is working overseas for a set period, a long-term investor or is simply looking to let for a year or two before selling. Their circumstances are likely to have an impact on yours.

  • Will the property be cleaned and repairs completed before you move in?

Even when you find a property you believe is the one for you, there may still be minor issues you wish to be resolved. It is worth making a list of these and asking your letting agent to approach the landlord with a view to having them completed. The landlord should inform you what they would be willing to do in order to secure you as a tenant, so get this in writing and ensure it is achieved before you move in.

  • When will the property be available?

Some rental properties are available immediately, while others might only be free once an existing tenancy comes to an end. So find out exactly when you will be able to move in and work out of this matches your requirements.

  • What fees apply to your prospective tenancy?

It is common practice for letting agents to charge to carry out an inventory at the start of a tenancy and for other processes too. So be sure to check out exactly what you must pay for if you go proceed with a property. A good agent – such as Leaders – will have these fees clearly listed on their website and will provide a copy to you upon viewing a property.

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