Looking to move home? Here are 5 tips to help you find your perfect home
1. Inspect the property thoroughly
Research shows that tenants merely scan rooms when they go to view a property and spend on average 5 minutes in total viewing the property. This does not leave you enough time to inspect a property in detail. Before entering a lease agreement make sure you assess a property properly.
Don’t feel pressured by a landlord or letting agent. Take your time viewing each room, checking corners, cupboards for evidence of damp and mould, run the shower and taps to check the water pressure, have a look at the outside walls for cracks. Make sure you enquire about the average cost of energy bills throughout the year so you know the full cost of living at the property.
2. Research the neighbourhood
After you have inspected the property take some time to walk around the neighbourhood. There is nothing worse than signing a one year lease to a perfect home only to realise upon moving in that noise levels prevent you from sleeping. Check for the following:
- Are there any nearby public or private services that could add noise pollution,eg. airplanes, ambulances, late night bars;
- Research online to see if the price you’ve been quoted for the tenancy is similar to nearby properties on the rental market;
- Is your property easily accessible by public transport?
Make sure you like the neighbourhood because you are going to have to live there.
3. Know your Tenant Rights!
Know what you are entitled and obliged to as a tenant, but also your responsibilities. You can seek excellent impartial advice from RTB or Citizens Advice. Any property that is offered to you for rental must be in good condition, structurally safe, availability of water, heating, have working appliances and access to energy.
4. Make sure you understand everything you are signing
What you sign dictates the type of rights and responsibilities you have as a tenant. Don’t be afraid to question anything you are unsure of with your Landlord or Letting Agent, and request certain sections to be removed if you do not agree. Look for:
- the start and end date of the agreement;
- the duration of the tenancy;
- how much your rent is;
- what date rent is due;
- how often are they able to increase your rent;
- what your rent includes;
If you are unsure of anything you can phone RTB at any stage to seek free advice.
5. Keep a written record of everything
It is important to keep all documents and communication you have with your Landlord or Letting Agent in writing. You need to keep an accurate record just as much as they do.
6. Build a good relationship
Make sure you communicate with your Landlord or Letting Agent as soon as possible when there is an issue with any household appliances at the property. Communicate often and frequently, it is your responsibility to notify them on time.