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Things To Do When Renting A New House


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I've not seen one of these on here, so thought it would be interesting to collect peoples thougths about the pitfalls, traps, and hazards when looking to rent a new place. Some of it will, of course, be similar to the what to look out for when buying a house thread, however, there are many others, that mainly relate to the fact that the property is not yours, and you're pretty much stuck with the fixtures & fittings installed.

The ones off the top of my head are as follows:

- Check the type of boiler/heating that is fitted. It is not something you can change, and can have a massive effect on the cost of heating your home / water

- Windows - are they double glazed, any leaky draughts?

- Heating - Are there radiators in all rooms? Any signs of leaking / problems?

- Taps - any signs of dripping taps?

- General decor - Is it neat and tidy? Has it had a quick paint job?

- Check all cupboard doors, especially kitchen drawers.

- Water - Does it have a good pressure?

- Storage - Is the amount of storage adequate for your needs?

- Do you have access to all areas of the house? (sheds, attic, cupboards)?

- ask what the moving out tenant was charged for


- Check the local crime map, and flooding risk.

Previous tenants - Ask if you can contact them to ask about the house

- cost of running,

- problem neighbours,

- ease of parking,

- niggles of the house that weren't sorted out,

- good landlord / letting agent - Hassle free?

- problems with the house sorted quickly and efficiently?

Other ones to note:

- Is the house up for sale as well? If so, it might be a sign that the L/L is not looking for a long term tenancy.

Of course, if you're still interested, there's the Haggle on the rent thread.

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Is it on mains sewage. LL's and LA's sometimes keep quiet about this especially when a septic tank or cess pit is shared with another property. If its a cess pit or a faulty septic tank you can incurr significant charges - we ended up getting a faulty septic tank emptied every 3 weeks at £90 a pop. Made the LL pay for it but it caused lots of stress, constantly backed up and generally made the relationship sour (and stinky). If its a 3 child family sharing with a single person or vice versa it can really be a problem.

Is there any shared lighting and extra costs from this.

How much council tax

Is there a water meter.

Is the elec or gas on a key meter and do they mind if you change it to a billed one.

Is the heating elec or oil - if it doesnt say so on the advert it is usually one of them!

Have they got the keys for any window locks or any other locks that could make your insurance invalid.

Does the LL have an outstanding mortgage on the property.

Have there been any infestations.

Does it come with any white goods seen on your visit.

Don't expect answers to many of these questions especially if dealing with an agent.

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Does the LL have an outstanding mortgage on the property.

That is an important one. Go here: http://www.landregistry.gov.uk/public/faqs/how-do-i-find-out-who-owns-a-property-or-piece-of-land For three pounds you can find out who owns the property and if it is subject to a mortgage.

If the name on the tenancy agreement does not match the name of the registered proprietor you should ask for an explanation.

If a mortgage shows up you should ask for the lender's consent or proof that the lender's consent is not needed.

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Three things I always do when renting:

i) written agreement with the landlord that I will change all locks at my expense and will replace with his when we leave

ii) written agreement to hang pictures, with walls to be made good afterwards (i.e. filler plus a dab of paint)

iii) written agreement that broken aircon/heating is covered by emergency call out with immediate fix (as in a hot country no aircon for weeks can be simply awful); costs paid by me if I broke it, otherwise landlord covers

if they don't want any of the above, then they are probably going to be a shite landlord and you don't want that anyway. Having rented 7 places in the last 6 years, not one landlord has objected

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