8 questions a tenant must ask on a viewing

about 2 months ago
8 questions a tenant must ask on a viewing

Viewing a property you’d like to rent can be exciting and overwhelming in equal measure. You may be distracted by the aesthetics or focused on checking the condition of the rooms but there are 8 less obvious but no less important questions you should ask while at the property. Print these out if you think you might forget!   

1. Can I keep pets?

Owning a pet is an essential part of life for many tenants but not every landlord will share the same enthusiasm for animals. In fact, there may be a clause in the tenancy agreement that prohibits a tenant from keeping a domestic animal at the property. If a pet is a dealbreaker, this must be one of the first questions you ask during a viewing.  

2. Can I redecorate?

Making a property feel like home will involve a degree of personalisation but not every landlord will want their property redecorated. It’s sometimes possible for the renter to repaint or make changes but any alterations would need prior approval by the landlord. If you have a colour scheme or interior theme in mind, get written permission before you buy a tin of paint.  

3. Who is responsible for maintaining the garden?

Tenants should establish whether any outside space is communal, and therefore the responsibility of a management company to maintain, or whether it is private. The maintenance of a garden that is exclusively for the use of one household is usually split between the tenant and the landlord. It’s also worth clarifying what jobs fall to which party, so there is no confusion.  

4. Where can I park?

Parking can be different from road to road and dwelling to dwelling, so always ask what the arrangement is for that particular home. Find out if there’s allocated parking, a garage or a driveway, and establish if parking permits are needed or if there are any time restrictions in the immediate vicinity.  

5. Is the property offered furnished?

Unless you are viewing a vacant property, it can be hard to tell what items belong to the incumbent tenant and what belongs to the landlord. It’s worth asking what furniture, contents and appliances are being left, along with details of their condition, age and who is responsible for their repair/replacement.  

6. Are bills included in the rent?

If you are looking at rental properties with one eye firmly on your budget, it’s worth checking if any of the bills – such as gas, electricity, water, council tax or broadband – are included in the rent advertised. If not, you may like to ask for an idea of the property’s running costs.  

7. Can I rent out a room?

Whether you want to reduce the burden of the monthly rent or are keen on a money-making side hustle, renting out a room or taking in a lodger amounts to subletting. Not every landlord (or their mortgage lender) will allow this type of activity so always check what’s permitted before you make an offer on a property.  

8. Can I move a friend or partner in?

Circumstances change and if you think the future involves living with someone else, it may not be as simple as moving them into a rented property after you have signed the tenancy agreement. The landlord would need to give permission for an additional person to live in the property. Anyone new will have to pass the referencing stage and a new tenancy will need creating, which will reset the agreement’s terms and conditions.   

If you are searching for a new rental and would like a list of available properties, together with advice on finding the right home for your needs, contact our lettings team today.

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