Questions To Ask Your Landlord On Moving Day

When you finally come across your perfect rental after months of searching, it can be extremely tempting to make an offer, get a box of your stuff and prepare to move in. While tempting, this of course isn’t the best approach. There is a certain timeline that you should follow to ensure the rental process runs smoothly, and this includes a number of questions to ask your landlord.

Before moving into your new rental property, there is certain information that you need from your landlord or the letting agent. That’s why we’ve compiled a list to help you get the most out of your rental process.

couple sat on the floor surrounded by cardboard boxes on moving day

What is happening with my deposit?

Landlords usually require a holding deposit to secure the property. This amounts to one week’s worth of rent, which is reduced from the first month’s rental payment should you move into the property. If the move falls through without you officially withdrawing your offer, you can get your deposit back.

Once you move in, the landlord will likely require some sort of security deposit. You may be required to pay five week’s worth of rent for the security deposit, which will be returned once you leave – as long as you’re not at fault for any damages. Alternatively, the landlord may opt-in to the deposit replacement scheme, which sees you pay one week’s worth of rent upfront rather than the usual five week’s. The one week fee isn’t refundable, but it can save you thousands in upfront costs.

What are the landlord’s contact details?

The landlord’s contact details will likely be on the tenancy agreement, but you should ensure that you have a copy of their email address, mobile number and physical address. They are in charge of sorting out repairs, and not being able to contact them can lead to issues. Speaking of, another question to make sure you get an answer to is ‘how do I report repairs and how long will it take for them to be carried out?’.  If a landlord cannot give you a straight and immediate answer to this, you should be wary. It is the landlord’s responsibility to make sure repairs are sorted once you have reported them.

Where’s the fusebox and meters?

There are some more specific questions about certain features of a rental that you should ask your landlord on moving day, such as ‘Where’s the fuse box?’, and ‘where are gas and electricity meters?’ This will save you time if the lights blow, for example.

Can I change energy suppliers?

In a similar vein, ‘can I change energy suppliers without consulting?’ is another good question. If you’re paying the energy company directly you have every right to swap and find a better deal, however, if you’re paying your landlord and they pay the supplier you must ask permission first. The landlord can refuse to swap, but it is always worth asking.

How will my rental payments be taken?

An obvious question that is often overlooked is ‘how do I pay the rent?’. If a landlord requests that you pay in cash, again, be wary. Most landlords will ask you to pay securely into a direct debit account because it is easier to manage, more convenient and more secure.

couple sat next to a pile of cardboard boxes on moving day

Is the property safe and secure?

Another important question to check off your list is ‘is the property safe and secure?’. This is one of the most vital questions you can ask- everyone should feel safe and secure in their own home. The landlord should provide you with a gas safety certificate and allow you to test the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. They should also let you know if there is any CCTV, if the windows lock, if there is an alarm and if the locks on the doors are adequate.

Can I redecorate?

Most tenants like to put their own spin on things, but how much freedom you have is up to the landlord. Some are happy for you to decorate, as long as the property looks the same when you leave as when you moved in. Others don’t like you adding any extras other than things like furniture. Always ask the landlord before going ahead and redecorating any part of the property.

Reputable landlords should have no problems answering your questions, and will be happy to solve any queries that you have. It’s a good idea to ask all these questions before you move in to ensure that your rights are being respected and your tenancy is off to a perfect start.

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