Tenants: What Are The Best Questions To Ask On Property Viewings?
Viewing rental properties in the current climate isn’t the most relaxed of tasks. At present, there is a lack of rental property coming to the market and an influx of people desperate to move, making the scramble for a viewing a somewhat stressful experience. If you’re lucky enough to secure a viewing at your dream property then it can be daunting, especially knowing you need to make a quick decision to ensure you’re in the running to secure a tenancy!
To assist in taking the stress out of the experience, we’ve come up a list of top five questions anyone should ask about a rental property before making a decision. Keep reading to find out what they are!
1. What is the Wi-Fi like?
It the current climate, with more people working from home than ever before, this is a very important question! Slow Wi-Fi can hinder even the most tranquil of home offices and become a bigger problem over time as your frustration of staring at a buffering screen builds! It is also worth checking if there is currently a phone line in place, as without this you may find that it takes a period of weeks, or even months, before you have a good internet connection up and running.
2. How long a tenancy is the landlord looking for?
It’s best to be upfront with landlords about the length of time you plan to rent for. If you’re looking for a stop-gap before purchasing a property, it’s best to tell potential landlords to ensure both of your timelines match up. Similarly, if you are looking to rent long term then it’s worth checking that the landlords aren’t looking to sell in six months' time!
3. What happens if there is a maintenance emergency?
This varies from property to property, as well as from agency to agency! However, it is worth knowing what to do, just in case there is an emergency. Some landlords manage their properties themselves so would expect you to contact them first. Other properties are managed by the agency who should have a number you are able to call even if it is out of normal working office hours.
4. What are the next steps if we want to proceed?
Again, this varies from agency to agency but it is worth getting ahead of the game and knowing what you will need to pay and when. Agencies no longer charge tenants for any referencing fees etc. but you will still need to pay some rent to secure the property and a security deposit. Security deposits are now capped at 5-weeks rent so you should roughly be able to work out what you’ll need to pay before moving in and it is also advisable to check with your agent when they’ll need these payments. Another thing to consider are the references the agent will need to see and whether you can provide these. If you aren’t, then it’s best to be upfront so all parties can see if there is an alternative route that can be taken to allow you to move in.
5. Can I decorate? Can we hang pictures?
If you’ve set your heart on making the property really homely and plan to make a few minor changes to achieve this, then it is best to ask this question early. Some landlords will be adamant that they don’t want any modifications or decorating done and if this is the case, it is better to know before you move in. That way you can decide if you’re still happy to take on the property as it is, or whether somewhere else might suit you better.
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