Key questions tenants should ask when viewing a house

Key questions tenants should ask when viewing a house

Renting a property can be quite a commitment and therefore it should be approached as practically and sensibly as actually purchasing a property should be. It is always a good idea for prospective tenants to have a list of questions prepared when viewing a potential home. This way, gathering important facts to enable an informed decision becomes a far more straightforward task.

The most important piece of tenant advice is, of course, to question how much the monthly cost of renting the property will be. Sometimes, properties come with special first month offers where the initial rent is lower than in subsequent months, so it is vital to be clear about how much needs to be paid and when. Furthermore, almost all rental properties will require a deposit, although these are often returned at the end of a tenancy if the home remains in good order. In addition to these financial details, another bit of tenant advice is to be aware of how utility bills are dealt with in order to avoid any nasty surprises later down the line.

When entering into a lease, tenants should question the length of the rental period. Many landlords will offer yearlong leases, but many are more flexible. For a prospective tenant, the advice is to look at the small print as some contracts may carry financial penalties for ending the tenancy early, for example. It is essential that occupants seek a concrete answer to this question in order to find a property and contract that suits their individual needs.

As there are no firm rules surrounding the definitions of furnished, part-furnished and unfurnished, tenants should check exactly what is and what is not included when viewing a property. In many cases, landlords will offer a degree of flexibility in an effort to make their property more attractive to the viewer. Whatever is agreed, it is in the interests of both tenant and landlord to possess an inventory of goods, in addition to a record of the general state of the property, so that would-be disputes are avoided completely.

Whether it is the length of lease or the inclusion of a new sofa, everything must be settled prior to signing any contracts. Once the lease is completed, a tenant can only really rely on a landlord’s good will, so it is beneficial for both parties to have all aspects of the agreement in place prior to the uptake of a tenancy. Rental agreements can be a huge financial commitment for both tenant and landlord, so understanding the tenancy, negotiating any issues and adhering to the terms and conditions is of the utmost importance for both.

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