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5 things to ask the landlord before renting

 
Posted 30 / 09 / 14
 
 
 

How long has the property been on the market? If the house/flat has been available for a while, it could indicate that there is something wrong with it. The longer it's been advertised, the more likely you are able to negotiate deals.

How much is the deposit? Generally, the deposit will cost between 1 month's rent to 1 month's rent plus £200.

What is the length of contract? In highly student-populated areas, the contract is most likely to be 12 months, with half rent over the summer. In non-student areas, it will probably be easier to negotiate a shorter contract if you wish, with a specific moving in date.

Will there be a break cause in the contract? These are increasingly being inserted into the Tenancy Agreements – particularly in the London area – as a way of giving the parties more flexibility. A break clause allows either party to give two months' notice to end the tenancy after six months.

Is the property accredited? Has the landlord signed up to the AFS/Unipol code? This is a national accreditation scheme which landlords sign up to participate in. The code has a number of standards which a landlord must achieve to gain accreditation which are assessed through a robust property inspection.

VIEWING CHECKLIST

 

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

COMMENTS

How clean is the property? Check areas that are often overlooked, including the oven and hobs. Has the landlord left enough cleaning time between the two tenancies?

 

How secure is the property? Most insurance companies insist of 5 lever deadlocks on the external doors, and window locks on the ground floors. Are there locks on all of the bedroom doors?

 

Try to establish which furniture comes with the property. You may be able to negotiate on a few extra pieces such as desks or drawers if you don't think there are enough.

 

Are there enough facilities for the intended number of tenants? This includes showers and toilets as well as fridge and freezer space.

 

What is the external condition like? Focus on aspects that may affect the interior such as missing roof tiles and broken or loose guttering.

 

How old is the boiler? Note down the make and model and then Google it to find out the age and see whether it is a combi or system boiler (combi boilers can struggle to produce a lot of hot water for larger properties).

 

Are there any external noises? Is there a busy road, train track or pub nearby? Return when the noise will reach its peak to hear the full impact.

 

 
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