Make moving house less stressful!
Tips when looking at a new rented home
By Penny Walster
Moving into a new rented home can be stressful; so here are Shelter’s top tips to help to ease some of that worry:
- Inspect the condition of the property.
Most repairs to the property are the responsibility of the landlord. But it is good to check before you move in for any signs of damp or condensation, pests such as mice or rats, and that taps, pipes and radiators are not leaking.
Have a look at the roof; does it have any loose tiles? Are there any leaks from the guttering or down pipes? Is brickwork or rendering damaged or crumbling? If there are any issues you can note these, take photos and share these with the landlord or agent. You can also arrange for repair work to be done before you move in.
- Ask about gas, electrical and fire safety
Any gas appliances such as boilers, cookers and heaters must by law be checked every 12 months – so ask to see a record of the latest safety check. Your landlord must also give you a certificate of gas safety before you move in.
Your landlord should have electrical appliances checked every 12 months. Usually the electrician puts a sticker on the plug of each appliance saying when it was last checked. Your landlord must give you an Electrical Performance Certificate (EPC) when you move in.
Check that there is a working smoke alarm on each floor of the property.
- Check the heating
Check what sort of heating there is in the property and ask the landlord how much the bills are.
- Check any furniture and appliances
Ask if any furniture and appliances are provided (such as cooker, fridge, freezer and washing machine). Check if your landlord will repair or replace them if they go wrong. Make sure you and your landlord agree an inventory to record the condition of everything in the property. If you are bringing your own furniture, check it will fit.
- Find out about the landlord
Find out how to contact your landlord in case of emergencies. If a letting agent manages the property, check they are registered with a professional body and letting redress scheme.
- Check the costs of renting
The rent is likely to be your biggest monthly outgoing – so check you can afford it. Check with the landlord or agent if there are any other charges, such as service charges for communal areas or any other bills such as gas, electric, or water and how much these will be.
- Check how long the contract is for
Many tenancies start off as fixed term contracts, often for six or twelve months. Check if you will be able to renew your tenancy when the fixed term contract ends. Your landlord must give you notice if they want you to leave.
If you have any questions come and see Shelter Bristol at their office, New Bond House, Bond Street, Bristol, BS2 9AG or call us on 0344 515 1430.