Aug 23, 2021
5 min read
When you’re looking for a property to rent, whether in the city or on the edge of a small town, be prepared to spend a bit of time perusing house and flat listings online and attending viewings. If you want to save time and avoid headaches (who doesn’t?), make sure that all the flat listings you consider have the information you need. Once you narrow down the search online, you can then prepare for viewing a rental property or two.
As you begin your rental property search, consider these important features every good rental listing should have:
Immediately, you should know how many bedrooms and bathrooms there are. The rental property listing should also list the pcm (per calendar month) rent, date available, square footage, property type and a snippet of the address. It should also state whether or not the space is furnished – so you can start planning your next sofa and lamp purchases. If there are any confusing details (will Mike junior's bed fit into the ‘box room’?), call the Lettings Agent for clarity.
Often tagged on the end of flat listings are policies around rent, deposits and smoking. This section of the listing will disclose if there are any dealbreakers for you, such as, if you have a furry friend and it’s a hard no-pet rule.
Another important rental property listing feature is, of course, the costs. While you should only be looking for suitable homes in your budget (though we won’t judge if you have a nosey at multimillion-pound properties occasionally), every listing should clearly list the pcm rent and even the per week (pw) rent.
Once you’ve decided to view the property, you can then learn more about the deposits, any extra charges, utility costs and more. These additional expenses can turn a home purchase from feasible to fruitless, so get your maths straight ahead of time.
All house and flat listings should have a few high-resolution photos to give you a taste of the space. Look for listings that include interior and exterior shots as well as a floor plan to give you more details on sizing.
Once you find a few suitable listings, you’re off to a good start. You can easily compare properties side by side and book viewings for your top choices.
Let’s face it: there’s only so much you can tell from a rental property listing. When viewing a potential home, keep your eyes peeled to get an idea of how it would feel to live there. During the rental property viewing, look at all aspects of the home – interior, exterior, windows, flooring, light switches, water pressure and cupboard space. And if you can’t stand being offline, check your mobile reception while you’re there too and ask the agent about local broadband speeds.
Go in there armed with questions that will give you answers to help with your decision. While some of these questions may apply to the space and others won’t, here’s what to ask when viewing a rental property.
Get the figures and timeline straight. You should know how much you’ll be expected to pay upfront, from deposits to admin fees, and by when. Depending on your finances, you may need a guarantor who will be held responsible for payments.
You don’t want to blow your budget only to find out last minute that you need to cover the monthly utility bills when you thought it was all-inclusive. Find out the exact costs involved and factor them into your budget.
While many rental property contracts have 12-month lease agreements, it’s worth double-checking to be on the same page. Some landlords are willing to accept shorter-term agreements, such as 6 months. Narrow down the date of when you could move in. And when your term ends? Ask if the lease will roll over into a periodic tenancy.
All landlords will have their own policy on décor, with some more lenient than others. If the space is fully furnished, you may not feel you have much room to put your own stamp on it, but that’s where wall décor, lights and paint come in handy. Landlords may be open to you decorating as long as you return the space back to its neutral self before moving out. Need some inspiration? Property Playground has designs, collections and professionals to overhaul the space.
Find out who is the point of contact if something goes wrong, whether it’s a broken boiler or a leaking tap. This person could be the landlord themselves, the Letting Agent or someone working for the landlord. If you move into the property, be sure to store their number in your phone and get your housemates (if you have any) to do the same.
These tips can help you in the process of scouring flat listings and knowing what to ask when viewing a rental property. When you’re ready to find your next property to rent, discover more on Boomin. Our advanced property site offers a wide range of suitable spaces to rent and you can book viewings online 24/7 with trusted and experienced Letting Agents. Start your rental search today.