Renting property can be a tricky business, so before you let your heart rule your head and ‘fall in love’ with a property and rent it on the spot, make sure you take the time to consider all the following factors:
1. Research other property available in the area.
Once you have decided on a budget, make sure that you research the local area to see what you can get for your money. You might want to think about moving out of the town centre to get a lower rent, although this might mean that your travel expenses increase. Alternatively you may find that some parts of town are simply more expensive than others.
2. Not taking time to think about your needs
You need to be clear about exactly what you need. For example you will need to consider whether you want to take the property furnished or unfurnished? You will normally find property that can be let fully furnished, part furnished or unfurnished. Which is right for you will depend on your circumstances. It is always a good idea to ask if the owner will provide or take away items, although quite often this is not possible particularly when they have to be stored somewhere. You should also consider things like how many rooms you require and if you will live alone or with others.
It may be worthwhile making a list of things that you want or need in a property, this list you could take with you as you view properties. If the tenancy is to be shared, you should discuss the list beforehand and go to viewings together.
3. Check out the local amenities
Work out the practicalities of getting to your local supermarket, local transport, to and from work etc. Parking is increasingly a big issue in towns – find out whether there are any parking limitations or parking problems locally. If you have children of school age – one of the most important things to check out are the local schools.
4. Ensure that you see the property more than once
Too many people look at what will be their home on just one occasion and make a quick decision. It’s very important to feel comfortable where you live – make sure that you go back and have at least one more look at your perspective home – preferably in daylight as well as night. Seeing a property in the dark, in particular, can mask all sorts of problems.
5. Not taking time to choose the right solicitor
A sensible way of choosing a solicitor is by personal recommendation. For example a friend, family member or work colleague may be able to recommend a particular firm they have recently used. Alternatively, appointing a local solicitor is a sensible idea. Whilst it is possible to appoint a solicitor in any part of the country, the local solicitor will have valuable knowledge and will be readily accessible for face to face meetings.