When you’re thinking about renting a house or flat it can be easy to choose somewhere simply based on the aesthetics of the property itself; the location, size, price etc. While these are all incredibly important factors to consider there are plenty of other things you should look for in a property to rent and avoiding any of them can leave you in a worse position than you at first thought. With that in mind we present a quick list of things to look for in a rental property.

 1. A clear tenancy agreement!

While it might be obvious it’s amazing how often a sub-clause in the rental agreement can leave you surprised or suddenly out of pocket. Property rentals are governed by strict laws but you also want to consider the sub-clauses that cover cleaning, repairs and ending the contract. Check how long the contract technically runs for and the conditions of termination. If you don’t understand anything in the contract then you will need to get clarification before you sign anything. This way you have a clear understanding of exactly what your rental agreement entails.

 2. Service history and repairs

Before moving into a property it’s a very good idea to check the recent repair history and ask to see service history of internal property. This includes the boiler and any other property features. The boiler in particular is a must as it must be serviced regularly in order to be considered safe. At the same time ask to know if there have been any pre-existing problems that have been fixed such as damp or refitting’s as this will mean you know of any problems that may arise that won’t be your responsibility.

3. Property inspection

When you are actually moving there will be a property inspection to determine the condition of your property as you move in and your landlord will create an inventory of anything currently in the property and its condition. You will want to inspect the property carefully yourself and make sure that you agree the property inspection. It’s a good idea to take photos when you move in so that you know exactly what the condition of the property is and then you can send them to yourself to have a dated record!

4. The  wider area

While a property can be absolutely stunning before you move anywhere you should look into the local area more fully. This entails looking at amenities, crime rates, commutes and all the other little things you might need and want to know before you actually move somewhere. Most of this information can be found online but you’ll also want  to wander around the area if you’re not familiar with it and make sure that you are absolutely happy with everything around. This way you will have the certainty that the property and the area are suitable for your needs.

5. Get to know the landlord

Finally before you move into a property get a feel for your landlord. A good landlord will mean that repairs can be taken care of quickly and that if you have any problems they will be dealt with. A bad landlord can cause endless problems! It’s a good idea to try and get a good feel for your landlord and try to make sure that he is easily accessible if you need him or her to be.