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    • melb
    • By melb 12th Mar 18, 2:52 PM
    • 2,554Posts
    • 956Thanks
    questions to ask when viewing rental flat
    • #1
    • 12th Mar 18, 2:52 PM
    questions to ask when viewing rental flat 12th Mar 18 at 2:52 PM
    my daughter is going to view a flat later today. It will be her first foray into renting (she is only 18) and as I have never rented myself I would appreciate any tips for questions she should ask.

    she is viewing this place because it is the only one she can afford (basement flat for £325 a month which is very cheap for Leeds) and is desperate to leave home (I'm trying not to take it too personally).

    Questions I can think of are:-

    is the gas/electric by meter
    is there wifi
    is there a tv aerial
    who is responsible for insurance?
    can she decorate/attach anything to the walls
    which fixtures come with the flat (it is shown with basics, settee and bed but described as unfurnished)
    Who else lives in the other flats (none of her business probably)

    Anything else?
Page 1
    • ftb_deena
    • By ftb_deena 12th Mar 18, 3:04 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    • #2
    • 12th Mar 18, 3:04 PM
    • #2
    • 12th Mar 18, 3:04 PM
    I remember asking things like how long is the lease, how much is the deposit, will the landlord be contactable at all times (in the case of an emergency)

    Only speaking from experience but I don't imagine content insurance or Wifi will be included.

    Good luck to her
    • walwyn1978
    • By walwyn1978 12th Mar 18, 3:07 PM
    • 419 Posts
    • 373 Thanks
    • #3
    • 12th Mar 18, 3:07 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Mar 18, 3:07 PM
    Who is responsible for day to day management of the flat especially if anything goes wrong (landlord? Letting company?)

    Wifi and insurance I'm pretty sure are down to her, not the LL

    Edit; Beaten to it by FTB_Deena :-)
    • Amanda_Cm
    • By Amanda_Cm 12th Mar 18, 3:08 PM
    • 152 Posts
    • 164 Thanks
    • #4
    • 12th Mar 18, 3:08 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Mar 18, 3:08 PM
    Any additional fees to the rent?
    How much is the council tax (if applicable)?
    How far in advance do I need to give notice before moving out?
    How long will the lease be? Are they renewal fee?
    • Arabanna
    • By Arabanna 12th Mar 18, 3:09 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    • #5
    • 12th Mar 18, 3:09 PM
    • #5
    • 12th Mar 18, 3:09 PM
    Is there a fire alarm?
    Is there a carbon monoxide alarm? (get these if not).
    Who holds the deposit?
    Is there an inventory?
    She should take photos of any damage/ scratches/ issues on the day she moves in to keep a record of damage already done (so it isn't taken off her deposit when she leaves).
    Who should she ring if there are issues/ emergencies/ repairs? (24hr number).
    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 12th Mar 18, 3:12 PM
    • 2,567 Posts
    • 5,482 Thanks
    • #6
    • 12th Mar 18, 3:12 PM
    • #6
    • 12th Mar 18, 3:12 PM
    Is there no way you or someone else appropriate could go with her to view this place?

    You really need G_M's guide to renting (I'm sure I didn't dream that) but this is what I have found in the meantime:


    There needs to be a gas safety certificate in place. Don't understand your query regarding the meters; your DD can just ask to be shown where they are. I would recommend finding out where the stopcock is while she is at it.

    You will not have to look far to find anything and everything you need to know about renting on this board. Whether you have several days to read it all is another question. HTH.
    What is this life if, sweet wordsmith, we have no time to take the pith?
    Every stew starts with the first onion.
    I took it upon myself to investigate a trifle; it had custard, jelly, soggy sponge things...
    • Lokolo
    • By Lokolo 12th Mar 18, 3:13 PM
    • 19,960 Posts
    • 15,093 Thanks
    • #7
    • 12th Mar 18, 3:13 PM
    • #7
    • 12th Mar 18, 3:13 PM
    "Is there WiFi?" doesn't make any sense. Internet is purchased from an internet provider and is down to the resident.

    She could ask "Is internet provided with the rental?". It's unlikely at that rate.

    However she can look this up in advance - and click on "Check availability".

    Be aware that a lot of internet and TV packages are for 18 months, if her rental is for 12 months and then choose to leave, she would need to pay the provider for the rest of the minimum term.
    • melb
    • By melb 12th Mar 18, 3:18 PM
    • 2,554 Posts
    • 956 Thanks
    • #8
    • 12th Mar 18, 3:18 PM
    • #8
    • 12th Mar 18, 3:18 PM
    wow thanks so much for all the replies. A lot of questions that are the important ones (rather than internet which is important to her for phone and Netflix)

    Her dad is going with her to the viewing
    • CurlySue2017
    • By CurlySue2017 12th Mar 18, 3:22 PM
    • 68 Posts
    • 89 Thanks
    • #9
    • 12th Mar 18, 3:22 PM
    • #9
    • 12th Mar 18, 3:22 PM
    You mention that it is a basement flat and one thing that I neglected to check when viewing one was the mobile signal.

    I didn't even give it a thought at the time.....too excited about moving! But after moving in I very quickly realised that it was virtually non-existant and was a massive PITA!! It is incredibly annoying when you can't get a signal indoors.

    But also, being a single, female, first time renter, I have to say that it made me feel very isolated when I was basically cut off from the outside world once inside my flat.

    Just something that would have never crossed my mind before, but always does now after that experience.
    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 12th Mar 18, 3:25 PM
    • 2,567 Posts
    • 5,482 Thanks
    Don't know if this might be of any help. There are loads of other checkers available.
    What is this life if, sweet wordsmith, we have no time to take the pith?
    Every stew starts with the first onion.
    I took it upon myself to investigate a trifle; it had custard, jelly, soggy sponge things...
    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 12th Mar 18, 3:53 PM
    • 2,567 Posts
    • 5,482 Thanks
    The perils of renting, even when you have been an exemplary tenant.

    Parental Guidance (not my finest hour; I was angry on behalf of the tenants; yes, I do know I don't know them from a bar of soap; it's the principle)
    What is this life if, sweet wordsmith, we have no time to take the pith?
    Every stew starts with the first onion.
    I took it upon myself to investigate a trifle; it had custard, jelly, soggy sponge things...
    • cjdavies
    • By cjdavies 12th Mar 18, 5:18 PM
    • 3,149 Posts
    • 3,381 Thanks
    If the landlord says so and so will be fixed/cleaned by time they move in it won't be.

    G_M's guide for England and Wales
    Last edited by cjdavies; 12-03-2018 at 5:22 PM.
    • AvocadosBeforeMortgages
    • By AvocadosBeforeMortgages 12th Mar 18, 5:26 PM
    • 31 Posts
    • 28 Thanks
    Agree with the above.

    She would also do well to be able to recognise the smell of damp (a great hazard in basement flats)
    I like to ask a couple of questions on a viewing to test the landlord's knowledge of housing law - casual questions about whether or not the deposit will be protected and which scheme they will use (a legal requirement) and how much notice they will give prior to an inspection (24 hours is the legal requirement). If the LL looks flustered or confused, it's a good sign you should run away.

    Other things to ask
    - is the heating gas or electric - electric will cost her more money to run
    - how much is the council tax (though she can find it out herself)
    - when is the property available from (if there are currently tenants there)
    - if she wants to have a bike, can she park it indoors, and if she has a car is there parking?

    And always ask to see a copy of the tenancy agreement prior to signing, and negotiate with the landlord to amend it as necessary. I've seen some bizarre clauses that would have left me liable for clearing the gutters 3 floors up in a block of flats with no equipment provided, for instance)
    • dimbo61
    • By dimbo61 12th Mar 18, 7:01 PM
    • 9,774 Posts
    • 5,267 Thanks
    Your daughter has Zero credit history well maybe a mobile phone contact this year.
    Is she working ? Can you and your husband at as guarantors ?
    Does she have any idea of how much it costs to set up home ?
    Paying for council tax, rent, gas electric cable and water ?
    Contents insurance ?
    Ground rent or management charges.
    Deposit, tenancy set up fees, holding fee ? Any other fees the letting agents can make up.
    • StumpyPumpy
    • By StumpyPumpy 12th Mar 18, 10:01 PM
    • 1,225 Posts
    • 3,266 Thanks
    I'd ask how long the previous tenant was there for: it can be a good indicator of what the place is like. Also, if it appears the tenant is still in residence and you/she/her Dad is cheeky enough, call around early evening when there is a chance they'll be in and talk to them.

    Come on people, it's not difficult: lose means to be unable to find, loose means not being fixed in place. So if you have a hole in your pocket you might lose your loose change.
    • franklee
    • By franklee 13th Mar 18, 1:55 AM
    • 3,587 Posts
    • 3,809 Thanks
    Is it going to be managed by the landlord directly or by a letting agent. If an agent how much are each of their fees? Typically admin, drawing up tenancy agreement, referencing including gurantor, check in, check out, renewal etc.

    How long is the property available for? What will be on offer after the fixed term, another fixed term or periodic. Check tenancy agreement including for break clauses.

    If white goods provided who pays to maintain the them such as washing machine. If they are not provided then note what space is available and budget to buy your own.

    Probably better for the settee/bed to go so daughter can get her own but as you say you need to check if that's the case.

    You should get any promises made confirmed in writing as agents can so easily "forget" what they offered.
    • melb
    • By melb 13th Mar 18, 10:55 AM
    • 2,554 Posts
    • 956 Thanks
    thanks for all your further tips and advice. Apparently the place is lovely and she is keen to move in. My last question, and I have emailed the rental agency and am awaiting a reply, is how people in rented flats go about getting internet connection if it's not there already. Would a landlord normally allow a broadband company to be drilling into their walls for cables? Obviously the tenant would be paying for this.
    • elverson
    • By elverson 13th Mar 18, 10:59 AM
    • 757 Posts
    • 483 Thanks
    *Usually* there's already a phone socket and line in place and you just order a package from your provider of choice. They would send you a router in the post which would give you wifi.

    You can check the address using an ISP website (others available!) e.g.
    Last edited by elverson; 13-03-2018 at 11:02 AM.
    • Annie35
    • By Annie35 13th Mar 18, 11:04 AM
    • 183 Posts
    • 146 Thanks
    You cant get cable if youre not in a cable area but if cables already installed in the area you just open an account online with Virgin, otherwise it'll be through the BT line. Usually the box is already in so often free reconnection & go on a comparison site to get the best deal, talk talk, plus net, BT, whoever, it all comes down the BT box & you pay whoever you go with as provider.
    • theartfullodger
    • By theartfullodger 13th Mar 18, 11:30 AM
    • 9,388 Posts
    • 12,540 Thanks
    Check who owns it for £3 from land registry - see if landlord name matches. If it doesn't, walk.
    WiFi may be provided - I do for one property -100 mbos
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