House/ flat hunting tips – I’ve found my house/ flat - what to check
This article will explain what to check when you think you have found a house that you would like to move into.
Found a potential house/flat? There are a number of things you need to do and check when you think you've found the right place for you before you sign a tenancy agreement - remember, if you sign the agreement it is then a binding legal document so you need to make sure you are certain this is the place for you!
Here is a list of the main things you should take into account:
Condition of the house
- Think carefully before committing yourself to a tenancy - although you might find that the house is in a good location, you may find that the quality and conditions of the property make it hard to live in throughout your time there.
- If you haven't already, check out this information on how to assess a property's condition.
- Once you have found a house or flat that you like, you will usually be expected to sign a contract and pay a deposit to the landlord.
- See this article for further information all about deposits including the different types and deposit protection information.
- It is advisable that you take, at least, the minimum amount of cover you can afford. See this article for more information on insurance. You never think you need it until you find yourself in a situation where you wish you'd purchased insurance...
- Many landlords will request that you have sufficient insurance to cover accidental damage to their possessions (including furniture and property) anyway.
Details of tenancy
- Find out how much the rent is, when it is payable and what bills are included. When you see a monthly rental figure advertised it generally means 'per calendar month' (pcm), although it is advisable that you confirm this with the landlord.
- Monthly rents that are not per calendar month can work out more expensive, particularly if the landlord has calculated the rent on a four-week month.
- If the rent is advertised as a weekly figure and the landlord wants you to pay monthly, it is worth calculating it yourself to ensure that you are paying no more than you should be. The best way to do this is to multiply your weekly rent by 52 and then divide by 12 to get 12 equal monthly payments.
- For more advice on rents, see this article.
- For more advice on contracts see this article.
- When viewing houses it is important to consider the security of the property.
- If you are unhappy about the security arrangements, ask the landlord to make any necessary changes before you sign an agreement, as it can be difficult to get work done once you've moved in.
- For more tips on security see this article.
Safety - what to look for
- It is very important that you consider gas, electricity, fire, and means of escape during a viewing.
- For more detailed information see this article.