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Six questions to ask before you secure your rental property

Finding a new rental home can be an exciting time and is often the start of a new life chapter, but before you hand over any money make sure have asked some key questions about the property.

Six questions to ask before you secure your rental property

1. Decorating

If you don’t like the way the flat has been decorated, or you feel it needs updating, ask if you can change it. If the decor is in a poor state, ask for a reduction in rent and offer to do it yourself. Just make sure that you and the landlord are in agreement about this and have it in writing.

2. TV and Internet

You need to check what speed the internet is and whether there is broadband. You can check the broadband status of any UK postcode online. You may also want to check if you can use specific services such as BT, Sky or Virgin. If the flat is furnished, ensure that a television is included.

Six questions to ask before you secure your rental property

3. Responsibility of communal areas

Flats will always have communal areas such as hallways, and may also have a garden too. Make sure you find out whose responsibility it is to keep these clean and tidy. Often, a management company will be responsible, but if the property is freehold, the owners may have a rota, with tenants expected to do their bit.

4. Furniture and white goods

There is often more to ‘furnished’ and ‘unfurnished’ than meets the eye. You may rent a flat that is furnished, but when you move in half of the furniture and the washing machine has in fact been removed. A good letting agent will tell you they use property inventory software, but what is property inventory software? It’s software that allows the agent/landlord and you to be in agreement about what is and isn’t included in the property, as well as any faults.

5. All costs involved

You need to know the exact rent, admin fees the letting agent might charge, how much the bills are and how much the deposit is. Draw up a personal budget before you sign any documents.

6. Who are the neighbours?

This is really important and you will quickly sense if the landlord is trying to hide something (a loud unruly family for instance). Ask who lives next door, and around about.