Questions to Ask When Renting a House
When you first make the decision to rent a house, it is a massive moment in your life and one that needs a great deal of thought put into it.
Before putting pen to paper on the contract and hauling all of your stuff over there, you should ask the following questions.
Are Pets Okay Here?
Even if you don’t already own a pet you might be interested in finding out whether or not they are allowed. After all, you might decide to get a cat or dog for company after you have lived in your new place for a while.
Of course, if you already have a pet then you really need to know right away whether Fido or Tiddles will be welcome.
Are Utilities Included?
Will you be expected to pay the utility bills on top of your rent? You shouldn’t assume the answer to this question either way, even if you think that you know what it will be.
Not having to pay these bills could make a big difference to your monthly expenses, so asking for the landlord to cover them is a good negotiating tactic if you think there is a chance of saving some cash.
When Is the Rent Due and How Do You Pay?
This might seem like a very obvious question but if you don’t ask it then it could lead to problems. You certainly don’t want rent arrears to build up over time because you have doubts over how to pay it.
Ideally, you will be able to set up a standing order to pay it directly from your account each month without doing anything. As long as you choose the right date for doing this there won’t be any worries at all.
Will the Landlord Pay for Garden Maintenance?
Renting a house with a garden can give you a lot of extra work or else cost you some additional money, depending upon whether you maintain it yourself of pay someone to do it for you.
Unless you love gardening as a hobby, it is a smart move to ask whether the landlord intends to cover this expense. In some cases they will, as it is in their best interests to keep the property under control and looking good.
Where Can I Park?
In some parts of the UK paying for a parking space can add a fair amount of money to your monthly budget. However, leaving your car out on the road might not be the safest move. In some places you might even struggle to find a clear space near your new home.
It is, therefore, worth asking whether there is a parking space allocated to the property. It will make life easier for you if there is.
Is the Rent Fixed for a Set Period?
It is all very well finding a house at a decent price but what if the landlord decides to hike up the cost before too long? This could see you back in the same position of looking for somewhere new to live.
Try asking whether the landlord has any plans to increase the rent or whether you can expect to pay the same amount for a long time. Getting a written guarantee on the price remaining stable would be fantastic.
What Deposit Is Needed and When Do You Get It Back?
The thorny subject of the deposit is another issue to be approached as soon as you can. You will almost certainly be asked to pay one but the amount can vary quite widely.
You will also want to be clear right from the very start about how and when you will get this deposit back. It can take a bit of effort to put together this amount of money so you will want know how when to expect it back.
Does the Landlord Have Any Intentions to Sell?
Not many people like moving too often. With this in mind, it would be good to try and find out whether your potential landlord has any plans to sell the property in the near future. One clue to this could be if the property has been listed for sale before it came up for rent. If the owner’s first choice would be to sell the property but they have rented it out instead because they were unable to do so, then this might not bode well for your future stability. If it is the owners first time of being a landlord then this might also prove to be a bit of a warning signal to a potential renter, as the owner may underestimate just what is involved with being a landlord, and may therefore end up selling the property in the near future.
What other useful questions have you asked before renting a property?