5 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Rental House
Searching for a rental property can be undertaking and exhausting. That’s why it is essential to go into rental units viewing equipped with the right questions. Letting agents may not offer all information you may need to know before moving into a new house. So, it is important to research and identify areas you may need clarification from the letting agent. Be on the lookout for any warning signs and know the level of details to expect in response to questions you may ask the letting agent. It is important to know the cost of living in the property and what you expect from the property owner. A reputable letting agent should be willing to send you a draft contract for review before you commit. Depending on your preferences and those of the landlord, there may be room for negotiating the lease duration. Consider asking the following questions before moving into a new rental apartment.
Are Safety Alarms and Boilers Fitted?
Letting agencies are responsible for updating tenants on smoke alarm rules. The law requires installing at least one carbon monoxide or smoke alarm on every apartment that contains fuel-burning appliances such as a burning stove, gas, or firewood.
Ask the letting agent to provide you with boiler servicing details, including when it was last serviced. While the letting agent may not remember the exact time when the boiler was serviced, seek to understand the rules around servicing. Most boilers are serviced at least once a year. Also, knowing how old the boiler is can help determine its reliability.
Can I See Safety Documents and an EPC?
Reputable letting agents will always give tenants a copy of an EPC and include it on their property advertisements. The letting agent may not hand you a copy of an EPC during the viewing, but they should be open about the property’s rating. Tenants should demand an EPC before moving into a new apartment.
Electricity and gas safety documents are not always available during viewing. But the letting agent should let you know the rules around electricity and gas safety. Ask the letting agent to send over gas and electricity safety documents not later than the moving day. Experts recommend safety checks at least every five years.
Can I Liven Up My Apartment?
You probably think about decorating a new rental unit before moving in. However, ask the landlord to clarify changes you can make before moving into a new rental house. Some landlords expect you to leave their house in the same condition you got it. So, get clarification before you decide to hang up a picture or paint the walls.
Are Pets Allowed?
Not all landlords allow their tenants to stay with their pets. Therefore, ask this question before committing to an apartment that won’t allow you to stay with your cat or dog. There are so many pet-friendly apartments out there, so don’t stick with a rental unit that forces you to part with your cat or dog.
Is the Lease Renewable and Can I Sublet?
Check whether the lease agreement allows renewal or not. Lease agreements for apartments meant for sale are often not renewable. You can expect a slight increase or decrease in rent after the renewal of the lease. However, this depends on the prevailing market conditions, such as the economic state.
While subletting isn’t an option in most apartments, a tenant who plans to move out of a rental unit before the end of their lease should inquire about this. The landlord may consider any decision that doesn’t follow the proper guidelines as a severe contract breach, attracting hefty penalties.