Renters guide

Checklists

Below we have provided a general checklist of questions to ask the landlord/letting agent coupled with items to look out for when viewing the letting property. It is important to remember that although you will only be renting the property this could indeed be your home for the foreseeable future. As such on viewing the property you will be able to assess the property in terms of condition, costs and the surrounding area and amenities there-in.

Property Exterior

  • Examine, as best possible, the exterior of the property, is it in good condition?
  • What security measures does the property offer? Are all external doors secure?
  • If there are locks provided on doors and windows are these of a good quality?
  • Check out the local crime report for the area, has the property itself been damaged or burgled before?
  • Does the property contain a garden and who is responsible for its upkeep?
  • Consider the neighbours; the landlord may be able to furnish you with more information.
  • Explore the surrounding locality of the property. Are there sufficient amenities and transportation links within the local area? Does the area feel safe and secure?

Property Interior

  • Check the condition of the interior of the property? Are there any obvious indications of problems such as damp?
  • As a result of any problems, what essential repairs need to be undertaken?
  • What type of heating is in the property? Does this work correctly? Check that all rooms in the property are sufficiently heated?
  • Is the house double glazed?
  • Electrics in the property, are these in good condition?
  • Does the property offer sufficient storage space for your belongings?
  • Is the kitchen of a sufficient size in terms of storage and work surfaces?
  • If there are any appliances being left in the kitchen, do they work properly?
  • Are there any items of furniture being left within the property?, i.e curtains, beds etc
  • Is the bathroom is good condition? It may be a good opportunity to check for leaking taps and that the shower works.
  • Does the landlord have any objections to you decorating the property?
  • Check for power points around the property to ensure they are adequate for your requirements.
  • Is there broadband/wi-fi available in the property?

Safety Considerations

  • The security of the property. Does the property offer an alarm? Are locks provided on any downstairs windows?
  • How many smoke alarms are in the property? Is there a carbon monoxide detector within the property? Check that all of these are fully functioning.
  • Are there safety measures within the kitchen? e.g: a fire extinguisher and/or safety blanket?
  • If any furnishings are remaining at the property are these fully compliant with the most recent fire regulations?
  • Can the property be evacuated easily in the event of a fire?
  • Is the paperwork available to view on any safety checks which have been carried out on the appliances (PAT tested)? If gas is used within the property are you able to view the latest safety record?

General Questions to Ask

  • Costs of the property and what is included?
  • What to do in the event of any repairs being required?
  • Pets - will your landlord allow you to have pets in the property?
  • Smokers - will the landlord accept smokers?
  • Children - will the landlord allow children?

If the tenancy agreement stipulates that none of the above (pets, smokers and children) are permissible and you choose to ignore this, you may be in breach of contract which could result in the Letting Agent withholding your deposit monies on termination of the tenancy or immediate termination of the tenancy.

Furnished or Unfurnished Accommodation

There is no requirement for a landlord to leave any items of furniture in a property unless they choose to do so.

Unfurnished properties area normally supplied with a fitted kitchen and cooker, fitted bathroom, carpets and possibly curtains.

Part furnished properties, as the name suggests, are not fully furnished, however, they have more items of furniture than an unfurnished property. However it is rare to find this type of property available.

Furnished accommodation will normally have all furnishings excluding kitchenware. With fully furnished accommodation, everything will be supplied. It is important you do not assume items will remain in the property and you should ask the letting agent for a copy of the inventory as soon as possible. Please note that fully furnished accommodation will not often include luxury items such as a microwave, television, DVD player or stereo.