4 Things to Check Before Renting a Property

Moving home is equally as exciting as it is stressful. There are so many aspects to cover, whether you’re doing it for the first time or are a seasoned pro in the art of moving. If you happen to be a renter, there are even more elements to take on board. 

Before you get the keys to your new home, you need to navigate the world of contracts, deposits, and references – and that’s only a few items from the list! From the minute you decide to find somewhere new, it’s time to get your game face on. 

If you’re about to enter the rental market, worry not. Here at mashroom, we have put together this quick-fire checklist that will cover everything you need to do before renting. So, read on, and make your next move a smooth one with our top tips.

You’ve done your research on the property

So you’ve had a browse for a new home and seen somewhere that takes your fancy. You go on the viewing, get a good feel for the place and make an offer. But how well do you really know the property? Is  it near a pub that closes late? What type of street is it located on? 

Before you make an offer on a home, do your due diligence. You don’t want to sign an AST (Assured Shorthold Tenancy), only to find out the property’s location is far from ideal after you’ve moved in. Tenants are expected to do their own research before moving. Doing so could be the difference between moving to your dream home and counting down the days until the lease expires.

a couple expecting a property before renting it

You’ve inspected the property

It can be easy to get carried away when you’re on a viewing – especially if you instantly fall in love with the property. As a result, you might miss a few crucial details, such as small defects or minor marks around the home. That’s why you need to be thorough when looking around the property.   

If there are any other details that you’re not completely happy with, ask for them to be fixed as a condition in the AST before you move in. You need to state whether you would like walls to be painted or the odd touch up here and there beforehand, otherwise, the landlord won’t have to act on these issues once you move in. 

You’ve checked the break clause on your AST

The majority of AST contracts last for an initial 12 months and have a six-month break clause. However, you shouldn’t assume that all contracts have this as a mandatory clause. Always check the AST carefully before signing, making sure that you have a break clause in case you need to leave the property early. Failure to do so could tie you into a contract for the full 12 months without any chance of moving before it ends. 

You understand your tenancy deposit

Deposits have changed over the last year or so, with several options coming onto the market and new legislation regarding traditional security deposits. A growing number of landlords accept deposit replacement schemes, which means you will only pay a one-time fee equating to one week’s rent. This amount isn’t refundable. 

If the landlord prefers the structure of the traditional deposit, then you will be required to pay five week’s worth of rent upfront. The amount is refundable as long as there is no significant damage when you leave the property. Landlords are required to hold the deposit with an official scheme, and you should ask them for confirmation of where it’s being held. 

Make moving fun

Having all your bases covered before renting a new place means you can enjoy moving into your new home with minimum fuss. Start the next chapter in your rental adventure hassle-free, and enjoy living in your new home. 

a family moving in to their new property

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