Looking for somewhere to rent can turn into what feels like a long slog around a multitude of properties that do not tick all the boxes on the list you spent good time creating. When you do find one that feels right, it can be tempting to seize the moment and sign anything that’s put in front of you. But wait! Before you do so, take the time to ask the following questions…
What’s the deal with the deposit?
While it might seem obvious that you’ll want to ask about the value of the deposit, it is also important that you ask your landlord how they’ll hold it. It is a legal requirement that landlords place any deposit in a government approved Tenancy Deposit Scheme. These schemes hold the deposit in the hands of an independent third party and help to protect you against unfair deductions.
Can I sublet rooms?
Because the cost of renting is increasing at a rapid rate, many tenants seek to sublet rooms within their home, in order to help them meet the cost of the rent. Housing charity Shelter claims that many tenants are paying 44% of their income in rent. While the majority of leases forbid subletting, some landlords are willing to overlook this, so do ask!
Is the property safe?
It is a legal requirement for landlords to supply new tenants with a copy of the Gas Safety Certificate, which shows that any gas appliances in the property have been inspected and that sockets, light fittings etc. are all safe. If a room features a solid fuel burner, it should also be fitted with a carbon monoxide alarm. Every property should also be fitted with smoke alarms.