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Extra's to consider when renting.

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  • Extra's to consider when renting.

    I thought I would compile a list of 'extra' things to consider before renting. These idea's are based on my own experiences.

    Noise. This is an extremely common problem in flats. Most old buildings were not designed to be converted into flats and there is a high chance that you will be able to hear every neighbour sound from above, below, left or right depending on the structure of the building. The problem is made even worse with the additional laminate or wooden flooring that is now commonplace in flats. This adds to the reverberation and amplifies the sound of footsteps and 'impacts' such as items being moved or dropped. Of course, the neighbours will be able to hear every sound you make too!
    New builds are just as bad if not worse, due to the poor quality materials and paper thin walls. The new regulations will not make flats much more soundproofed - you will still be able to hear the TV and parties loud and clear.
    Consider the entrance to the building too. Are you going to be living near the main entrance door? This can be seriously disturbing, as all the other tennents will be in and out at all times of the day and night - and so will all their friends! It will end up feeling like you are living in a hotel lobby with all that activity and slamming doors (paricularly fire doors that make the property feel like it is going to colapse each time they are allowed to slam shut). Try to get a flat that is on the top floor.

    Smoke from cigarettes and cannabis. In flats this can be a problem as the smoke will probably find it's way into your flat via open windows, gaps in the construction and under doors.

    How furnished is the property? Sometimes there is almost no shelving or storage space. Will you be allowed to install cabinets, shelving, mirrors and pictures onto the walls? If the accomodation is small there may not be the room for all that 'free standing' homeware. You may find yourself surrounded by clutter.

    Will you be able to get your sofa through the doorway and up the stairs? What about the fridge freezer, the wardrobe and the piano?

    Will the rent increase dramatically over the coming months? Ask the Landlord before you sign.

    Cable/phone/internet/TV etc. This can be a costly nightmare. Check that your current provider (if you have one) can transfer your service to the property in question. Then check that the Landlord will allow you to have your services installed (unless you are lucky and your provider has previously installed there already). You may end up paying for your current contract as well as a new one by a different service provider - not forgetting the new installation fees!

    Is the Landlord a friend, or connected through a friend/relative etc? A 'dual role' Landlord may not treat the arrangement as proffessionally as an 'unconnected' Landlord. What happens if his/her relationship breaks down and he/she wants to move back into the property that was rented to you? Will the 'friend' Landlord be as overly concerned about those leaking water pipes and those exposed electricity wires as you hoped? Reporting the propblem may be very awkward because of the connection.

    Damp. This is another common problem, especially in old properties. You may have to keep wiping down the walls with bleach or mould killer. Ventilating a property in winter is very costly on the heating bills and will probably become unbearable due to the cold temperature.

    Previous tenants. There is the guarantee of junk mail and court summons to previous tenants. The most important letters are the 'final warnings' from the utility companies. You may come home to find the electricity has been cut off and 'access' made to your new rental. You will need to contact the utility company ASAP if letters repeatedly turn up with the names of previous tenants on the envelopes. However, sorting the problem is not straight forward. You may have to make numerous calls to the utility company as more than often the letters just keep coming.

    Are the other tenants/neighbours working, unemployed or students? All three groups enjoy a different lifestyle. You may be planning to go to bed just as a neighbour is waking up to do a nights partying. Try to find out if the neighbours/tenants are in your lifestyle 'category'.

  • #2
    A very comprehensive list. I would also like to add to the final point about the status of the neighbours that it's worth finding out if they are self employed or work night shift, i.e. at home all day but require minimal noise/silence.

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    • #3
      Also Parking. Nothing like a lack of parking to cause problems between neighbours, and if its on street parking people that "own their own houses" can get very possesive about the spot of space outside their house.

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      • #4
        Of course. I think that any prospective tenant should be a able to know the employment status of each tenant he/she is going to be sharing a building with. I understand that people want their private lives to remain confidential, but due to the rising problems with neighbour disputes I think it is only fair to allow prospective tenants the right to know the kind of potential problems he/she might be up against i.e. night workers, self employed (often part time), unemployed, student etc. I think that 'mixing' people up is not realistic and is unfair to decent tenants.
        Parking is the new neighbour war - more households with more cars. I wonder if people will eventually be able to rent the area of road outside their house? Councils could make a fortune!

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        • #5
          Excellent list - going to sticky this.

          Would also add:

          - be very clear on what is required to cancel the tenancy.

          When I was looking to buy a property I was renting, and realised that if the property I was buying did not complete in time I'd end up having to renew an extra 6 months rent.

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          • #6
            Re: Extra's to consider when renting.

            I would also make sure if it is not a managed property you MEET the landlord at the property!!! Probably sounds like a no brainer but I would really really recommend it.... Landlords in my experience are out for an easy life and really don't care about the standard of living you expect..

            Sorry! been a bit negative tonight but when you find out the landlord of your property owns holiday cottages all over devon and charges up to 1000.00 per week for staying on their farm with their indoor swimming pool and their games room etc etc .... Living with mouse poop, dog hair, grease covered kitchen cupboards, damp in the dining room, unsafe electrics and a house full of their mothers old rubbish kind of puts it in perspective !!!!!!!!!!!

            MEET THE LANDLORD PERSONALLY IN THE HOUSE YOU ARE RENTING BEFORE YOU SIGN ANYTHING!!!!!!!

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            • #7
              Re: Extra's to consider when renting.

              I would check the deposit is to be registered under a scheme.

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              • #8
                Re: Extra's to consider when renting.

                Definitely check the deposit is registered (the Tenancy Deposit Scheme is a brilliant way of ensuring a landlord can't screw you over as regards returning your deposit - and it is mandatory). Also get a signed inventory or schedule of condition when you move in and out.


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                • #9
                  Re: Extra's to consider when renting.

                  Yes, the Tenancy Deposit Scheme is useful indeed!

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                  • #10
                    Re: Extra's to consider when renting.

                    Thanks for the useful tips KingJames

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                    • #11
                      Re: Extra's to consider when renting.

                      I rented a flat where an old lady lived below and asked if we could be as quiet as possible after 9pm, as that's when she went to bed. So it's not only noisy neighbours to look out for it's the extremely quiet ones too!

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                      • #12
                        Re: Extra's to consider when renting.

                        Really really important in today's climate. Try to determine if you Landlord is solvent!

                        Though there are some greedy money grabbing Landlords - actually a lot of them have found property values falling, rents decreasing, and admin costs rising (eg it costs around £800 just for paperwork to get a licence for house in multiple occupation - before you even pay for inspections). Many good landlords who don't cut corners have found the books are not balancing and some have faced insolvency and repossession. I the present climate mortgage lenders a quick to come down on any risky client. And of course that may mean you lose you home. or may mean the Landlord can't pay for necessary repairs
                        Make sure your Landlord has good business sense and adequate assets

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                        • #13
                          Re: Extra's to consider when renting.

                          Fantastic List! could not have done it better myself!

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                          • #14
                            Re: Extra's to consider when renting.

                            Many thanks for the tips KingJamesUK. I used to live in a 1 bed flat in Maplin Park, Langley, Slough for 575 pcm. After hearing your tips, then I guess that we were really lucky as that was probably one of the best ones to live and rent. Minimal noise, mostly working people, nicely landscaped and loads of parking, it was a very good place. I can't imagine how, as a shift worker, returning from work after a night shift and not able to sleep due to constant noise.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Extra's to consider when renting.

                              There are times when nosy neighbours are a bonus - like when someone drives into your car in the parking lot!

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