Moving out of the family home that you have grown up in can be both an exciting but daunting journey. It’s your first real slice of adulthood - and having no one to answer to (*AHEM* your parents) can seem bliss when it comes to it.
However renting a property can come with an umbrella of responsibility. ‘Playing house’ soon gets real when that first bill gets posted through the door, or you have to decide between buying that new pair of shoes you have had your eye on, or feeding yourself for the week. However, before you even reach that point - it is important to ensure that you are embarking on the right path for you. We mean choosing the right place and being aware of everything that you need to know. So let’s get started with our guide to 8 questions that every first-time renter should ask…
8 Questions For Every First-Time Renter
1. How long has the property been on the renting market for?
We understand all too well that the property market can be an indecisive and unpredictable market to be in. Prices can fluctuate, value can fluctuate and your patience for finding the perfect place can wear thin. However it is ALWAYS worth asking how long a property has been on the renting market for - and not settling because you can’t wait to move. If it is a property that you have noticed listed multiple times during your search, then chances are there is a reason for that.
2. Has the property had to endure any major building / maintenance?
Another important question to ask your letting agent, happens to be the record of maintenance or major building works. If a property is available to rent then it does mean that any major works like those mentioned above will be taken care of by your landlord, however if it means that you will be experiencing niggling issues here and there, that you may have to pitch in a small part of your own wage for - then is it worth it further down the line?
3. How much will your monthly rent payment be?
Once you have expressed interest for a particular property, your letting agent will be able to tell you exactly how much the property will cost you month by month. Your letting agent should be able to break down your monthly invoice, for example:
This can be calculated on how much you settle to accommodate the property for, and your personal circumstance. The whole idea of asking for a monthly payment breakdown, prior to signing on the dotted line, is so that you can work out whether you can comfortably and responsibly afford the property at all.
4. What is the local area like?
If you are moving to a new neighbourhood as well as a brand new home, then you must ensure that you know as much about the area as possible. The last thing you want is to dive in head first to find that you are not happy living there or you did not know certain things about the city/town.
Your letting agent is the perfect person that you can ask for this. They are experienced professionals working in that area, who can answer your questions and help to guide you through the process. Some questions regarding the location can be:
What is the crime rate?
Is the area safe at night?
What is the age range of locals living in the area?
What car parking facilities does the property have?
If you travel by public transport - is it safe in the evening?
What are your potential neighbours like?
These can be used as a benchmark, of course depending on your situation, your questions may vary. Another top tip of ours is to drive to the potential pad during rush hour to get a realistic feel for your daily commute, and ask to speak to one of your neighbours. There’s no better feedback than that of professionals with your best interest at heart, and that of those already living your idea.
5. Can you tell me about the tenancy history?
If you are moving out for the first time to go to University, then you may not be too concerned about this question, as Student Lets will always have a higher tenancy change than any other type of let, due to their temporary nature. However if you are looking to rent a Professional Let or a Family Let - then you may want to know what the previous history of tenancy has been like.
Chances are you will be viewing this property with the idea of staying there for as long as you possibly can. So make sure you ask how many tenants the property has had before, how much interest has been expressed for the property, why did the last tenants move out, how long are tenants usually in the property for, is there a pattern? What would be the landlord's ideal tenant. The list can go on but make sure you ask every question that pops into your head, sooner rather than later.
6. How long is the tenancy agreement?
Once you move into your new place, you need to know exactly how long you are there for. But also, it is worth asking if you are able to extend that agreement if you settle in your new home and prove to be a reliable and good tenant.
7. Is there an inventory and damage list or agreement?
It is important to remember that as much as you may make your rental property feel like home, you do not own the house or flat - and it is essentially still your landlords call. Always check if there is an inventory and damage list, as the last thing you want is to be surprised with a list of outstanding balances to cough up for over damaged or missing items and furniture.
8. Can you decorate?
One area that most first-time renters look forward to the most is decorating your new pad EXACTLY the way you want it. But hold your horses - always check with your landlord and/or letting agent before you go out to your nearest B&Q. Some landlords prefer tenants not to paint, or you may not be able to hammer nails into the wall for that favourite picture of your dog. Even down to little home comforts that you take for granted in Mum and Dad’s house - candles. Many rental properties do not allow for candles to be lit (for obvious safety reasons) so always be sure to check before you do anything!
Contact Taylored Lets Today…
The team at Taylored Lets are always here for our customers. Whether you are a first-time renter, or you have rented before. We are experienced professionals with the knowledge of dealing with Student Lettings, Professional Lettings, House Shares and Family Lets, to make sure that you find your dream home. If you require any assistance regarding a property that you have seen, or you would like to book a viewing for one of our listings, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch today.
If you enjoyed this blog, then why not check out our Top Tips For Being New To The Neighbourhood?