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Monday, 10 September 2018

5 Things to Look Out for When Picking a Home to Rent

buying-house, new-home, renting-property

AD* | Although my partner and I are now lucky enough to own our home, many people across the country live in rented properties. I rented during my time at university, and although the process differs slightly for students compared with renting traditionally, the basics of what to look out for remain the same.

Are you considering renting the perfect home for you? I've got five top tips to share with you - all of which are things you should be looking out for when deciding on your new home!

I have previously written about my journey to becoming a homeowner and everything that was involved in the property-buying process. However, I also think it's important to talk about what you should be looking out for when you are looking to rent a property. After all, there is understandably going to be some degree of overlap between buying and renting, so why not make the most of what I have learned and share it with you?

Insurance

Granted, insurance isn't exactly the most interesting thing about moving house, but it is important nonetheless. Before making any commitments or signing any paperwork, you should check that the property is fully insured, your new landlord is insured (if you are a landlord - check out HomeLet for more insurance information), and whether or not you will be responsible for any insurance policies (buildings, contents or otherwise) once you move in. If you are unsure, there are plenty of helpful guides and resources out there to point you in the right direction!

Damp

Damp is always a big no-no, whether you are buying or renting. Although a damp problem shouldn't be your responsibility to fix, some landlords will dig their heels in and do their best to avoid having to pay out to solve the damp crisis - especially as resolving damp issues can be quite expensive. When you are viewing the property, be sure to keep an eye out for any telltale signs; look out for musty smells, wet or damp patches on the walls, high levels of condensation and any wallpaper or paintwork that looks discoloured, damaged, or hastily painted over!

Location

There's no place like home... But if home is in the middle of nowhere, in an unsavoury neighbourhood or miles away from your workplace or your child's school, maybe your dream home isn't quite so perfect after all. Before committing to a contract, be sure to ascertain whether the property's location suits you and your families needs. What is the neighbourhood like? Is there a local shop or supermarket? Do the nearby roads get busy or congested during rush hour? These are all examples of the types of questions you should be asking yourself when casing out a property.

Neighbours

Similarly, you should always take note of the neighbours before moving into a property. Of course, people move and the chances are that they won't be your neighbours forever, but if there are any potential problems in the area, you want to be prepared. Try visiting the street at various times of the day, weekdays and weekends, to see how busy and noisy the neighbourhood gets. You could even try knocking on a few doors and speaking to your new neighbours to see if they have any insights to share with you!

Cleanliness

Last but certainly not least, the overall condition and cleanliness of the property can tell you a lot about the landlord's approach. As a general rule, the owner of a house that is spick and span will be much more inclined to listen to any feedback or issues you may have and is usually quicker at resolving issues. Conversely, a property that is dirty, untidy or appears in poor condition is probably owned by someone who doesn't care much about it, meaning that you may struggle to get any issues resolved. Of course, this isn't always the case, but it's always best to know what you are getting yourself into!

These are just a few of the many things that you should look out for when you are looking for the perfect home to rent. However, at the end of the day, you are the only one who will know if a property is right for you, whether you are buying or renting, so don't be afraid to trust yourself and go with your gut instinct.

* This is a sponsored post

Do you have any more pointers to add to the list? Share them in the comments below!

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