How to choose the right property

Finding the ideal place to call home in the brutal UK rental market can be both exciting and overwhelming. As prospective tenants, you deserve a space that not only meets your needs but enhances your lifestyle. Here’s your comprehensive guide on how to choose the right property to rent and live in, ensuring a smooth and satisfying renting experience.

1. Define Your Priorities and Budget
Start by clearly outlining your priorities. What are your must-haves, and what aspects are negotiable? Establish a realistic budget, considering not only the rent but also utilities, council tax, and other living expenses.

2. Location, Location, Location
Consider the neighbourhood carefully. Think about proximity to work, public transport, amenities, and local services. Research the safety and overall vibe of the area to ensure it aligns with your lifestyle. If you’re already living or working in the area, do a drive-by first to check out the kerb appeal before arranging any viewings.  If you’re not already living in the area then definitely use Google street view to see what you’re going to be viewing.

3. Understand Your Lease Agreement
Thoroughly review the lease agreement before committing. Pay attention to terms, conditions, and clauses related to rent increases, maintenance responsibilities, and any restrictions on personalising the space.

4. Inspect the Property
Schedule a viewing to inspect the property in person. Look for signs of maintenance issues, check appliances, and test faucets, heating, and lighting. A well-maintained property is indicative of a responsive landlord. Ensure that you and whoever will be on the tenancy agreement views the property together.  After all, you’ll be signing up for a legal contract that will be difficult to get out of if you don’t do your homework first!

5. Consider Your Commute
Factor in your daily commute to work or study. Choose a location that minimises travel time and offers convenient transport options. This not only saves time but also contributes to your overall well-being. Why not do a dry run one day to your workplace at the correct time of day just to see what the journey is like and what the traffic is like.   Planning is everything.

6. Amenities and Facilities
Evaluate the amenities available both within the property and in the surrounding area. From parking spaces to communal spaces, gyms, or local parks, assess what adds value to your lifestyle.

7. Understand Utility Costs
Clarify which utilities are included in the rent and which you’re responsible for. Knowing the expected costs for gas, electricity, water, and internet helps you budget effectively.

8. Consider Future Needs
Think about your future plans. If you’re planning to expand your family, a property with room to grow might be ideal. Conversely, if you’re a student or professional looking for short-term accommodation, flexibility may be a priority.

9. Research the Landlord or Property Management Company
Check reviews or ask current or former tenants about their experiences with the landlord or property management company. A responsive and fair landlord contributes significantly to a positive renting experience. If there are negative comments, be fair.  There are two sides to every story and often landlords and letting agents are not able for GDPR reasons to comment openly on what’s actually happened.

10. Stay Informed About Tenant Rights
Understanding your rights as a tenant is crucial. Familiarise yourself with tenant rights and responsibilities in the UK to ensure a fair and lawful renting experience.

11. Visit at Different Times of the Day
Visit the property at different times to get a sense of the neighborhood’s activity, noise levels, and overall atmosphere. What might be a quiet street during the day could transform at night.

12. Trust Your Instincts
Finally, trust your instincts. If a property feels right, it probably is. If something doesn’t sit well with you during the viewing or in the contract, don’t hesitate to ask questions or seek clarification. Give good feedback on the viewing If the property is not right, be polite!  Tell the landlord or agent that it’s not for you and the reasons why. Who knows, you may even agree a lower rental amount or some improvements before you move in.  Don’t be emotional. Don’t tell the landlord or agent that you have fallen in love with the property, when you haven’t or planning where you’re going to put the Christmas tree if you know that you’re not going to even apply!   Landlords and agents want all feed-back not just good feedback.  Negative feedback is better than no feedback.

Remember, finding the perfect rental property is a personal journey. Take your time, ask questions, and ensure that the property aligns with your lifestyle and needs. By following these guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to discovering a home that suits you perfectly in this current rental climate.