When you’re looking for a new rental property, be it long or short term, you need to make sure that it will be suitable for you and your family. There are multiple things to consider to ensure the place you settle on will be right for your needs, so here we’ll take a quick look at some of the items you should be thinking about before signing a rental agreement.

First you should look at the condition of the property to see if it needs anything doing to it. You should be looking for things such as the general condition of the home including the paintwork, whether doors are working correctly, if light switches all work, and pay special attention to structural issues such as cracks in walls and any possible damp issues. If there’s anything you’re not sure about, make sure that these issues will be addressed before moving in on your offer.

The furniture is another aspect you should examine if any is included with the rent, check to see if the sofas or bed have any wear and tear that is not acceptable, as you don’t want to be billed for something already broken. At this stage too you can suggest that the property is cleaned to a decent standard to allow it to be habitable, but then it is down to you to maintain that high level of cleanliness throughout your tenancy. Sometimes you can arrange to have the property deep cleaned both before and after you move in.

You should give serious consideration to your utilities in the property, and whether they are included in the rental price or separate. Know beforehand how the electric, gas and water all operate, and who is responsible for paying the bills. Here you can also check things such as water pressure in the shower, the type of heating used, whether annual inspections have all been carried out, and don’t be afraid to ask for certificates proving they have been. It’s a good idea to have a look around the exterior of the property in the garden or yard area to determine any security issues to do with gates and fencing, not forgetting to check that all lock latches work properly on the windows and doors from the inside. Remember to ask who is responsible for gardens and communal outdoor spaces.

What steps do I take before moving in?

We will prepare a tenancy agreement for you to sign, and our experienced Letting team will walk you through the process you need to get everything sorted out legally. Your tenancy agreement will include all major and minor details, so be sure to check over it carefully before signing. Once you’re happy with the agreement, we will seek to collect references from past landlords if applicable to guarantee to the letter that you are a responsible person to whom they can let the property.

Before we can hand you the keys to the property, payment both to us and to the landlord by way of a deposit needs to be accounted for. You may also be asked to pay a damage deposit in case the property suffers mistreatment whilst you are a tenant. Just before you move in, you will also be asked to sign off on an inventory list which details all the contents of the house and states the general condition of the property before you moved in.