It’s easy to get overexcited when you spot your dream house or flat. You can afford it, the property is in the right location, and it’s available. It can be tempting to sign on the dotted line without asking too many questions. But it’s only after you’ve got the keys that you realise the property is not as perfect as it appeared.
Avoid disappointment and costly mistakes by asking the right questions when you view your ideal rental flat or house. Here’s what you can focus on to make the best decision, even in a competitive marketplace
- Who Are the Neighbours?
Your estate agent may not know the answer to this question, but you can still ask. Consider if they have a family, if they are young or older, or if they have pets. Ask if there have been any problems with the neighbours in the past.
- What is the Area Like at Night?
Is the area safe enough to walk around at night? Is there any noise from pubs or other entertainment venues that could cause problems? Consider how you will sleep if the area is well lit; streetlights outside your bedroom window could result in a bad night’s rest. Check if there is public transport at night if you don’t have a car or you like to go out in the evening. This is a question you can likely answer yourself by looking around the area at night.
- What Exactly is Included?
It may not be obvious what furniture belongs to the property and what will be taken when the tenants move out. Also check what comes with the house like washing machine, fridge and dishwasher. It is best to clarify this before you move in to avoid confusion.
- Can I Redecorate?
Check with the agent to find out if you can put up picture hooks, paint the walls, or change other aspects of the décor such as curtains. Many rental properties have restrictions for these changes. Others will allow you to make changes such as hanging pictures so long as you return the walls to their original state when you move out
- What is the Internet Speed?
If you work from home or you’re a student, you need to be able to rely on efficient broadband service. Check the speed of internet provision before you decide to take the property. If it matters to you how you watch TV, check that you can install your preferred provider’s service, or that it already exists at the property.
- What are the Other Costs?
You’ll know the cost of rent upfront, but how much will it cost to pay council tax? What is the energy rating of the house? Is there an electricity meter that could drive up the cost of power?
When looking for property to rent in Essex, make sure you look at the house or flat from all angles and consider more than just the basics of cost of rent and general location. This will ensure you find your ideal property and not somewhere that turns into a mistake.