When choosing a place to rent, there is far more involved than merely aesthetics. If certain questions are not asked, then you may become less than satisfied with your renting experience. Below are our top 9 questions which renters need to ask and sometimes forget.
1. What are the rules on pets?
Every property owner will have their own rules on any pets that are allowed to live within the property. Even if the property owner allows pets, there may be an added deposit or limit on the size or type of pet living there.
2. What Day is the Rent Due?
Budget is a key concern when renting. It may not be enough to know how much to pay, but also when it is due. Once you know the date, you should also ask about any grace periods on the rent and any late fees that may come from not paying on the due date.
3. Are DSS Tenants Welcomed?
Most properties accept (or at least consider) tenants who are in receipt of DSS support, but there are some exceptions and you need to ask in order to make sure that there won’t be any problems. It is important to ask upfront if the landlord accepts DSS tenants to save any wasted time later on.
4. How fast will the letting agent respond to a maintenance issue?
Many of us do not think of this issue until a problem occurs. What if a pipe bursts in the middle of the night? Is there an emergency number to get in contact with the landlord or the letting agent? It is your responsibility to know how to get in contact with the landlord or the letting agent in an emergency.
5. Are the communal areas my responsibility?
Many properties have a common area used by multiple tenants, including gardens, playgrounds, stairways, or even a pool. It is vital to understand what responsibilities you have, if any.
6. What about lawn care?
The property owner has many responsibilities, but the issue of lawn care is likely to be up to you. Larger rental spaces do usually take care of the lawn maintenance, but if it is not asked about, you may end up with an unwanted surprise.
7. What are the total costs of the rental?
When renting, we often only think about the initial cost but there might be other taxes and fees that added to the final cost. These costs can include utility costs, maintenance fees and bin collection. Every property will have a different set of added costs and knowing these costs can help you make an informed decision.
8. Where can I park my car?
For most large rental properties the amount of parking spaces is determined by the family size and availability of the parking spaces. Some places will allow you to park on the street, but some have designated areas in which you are allowed to park. Parking is a right in most rentals, but can involve an extra cost in some areas.
9. How is the property heated?
Looking for a property in the summer-time might make you neglect a very important aspect of renting. But the type of heating, whether by gas, night store heaters, radiator heat or oil fired, use different forms of energy and costs do vary – especially in the cold Scottish Winters!
Misunderstandings between tenants and letting agents/landlords seem more commonplace than they need to be. As ever transparency and asking question up front gives all parties the best chance of the tenancy being a long, successful and stress free one!