When you are viewing a new rental property, it is important to check several things. Everybody has their own priorities, however this checklist should help to jog your memory and ensure you’ve covered the basics:
Doors and windows: Make sure they open and close properly..
Heating: Gas central heating is the most cost-effective. Whatever system it is, make sure it’s good enough to warm the whole place. If it’s gas, check it’s passed it’s annual inspection by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
Gas, electricity and water: Look at meters and check payment methods. Turn on the water to see if it works – is the water pressure strong or weak?
Damp: Look out for dampness or mould. Check by doors and windows, inside cupboards, around heaters and on outside walls.
Furniture: If it’s a furnished property, get an ‘inventory’ – a list of all the items included, and note the condition of items on the list.
Peeling Paint: Avoid anywhere that needs a lot of repair work – this suggests an unreliable Landlord.
Security: Check whether the home has good security – a burglar alarm, window locks, strong doors and so on. Has it got a smoke alarm?
Outside: Check for problems with drains, gutters and the roof. Is there a garden to care for? Who is responsible for maintenance?
Note anything that needs repair: If the Landlord agrees to make repairs, get it in writing.
What happens next?
At the start of your Tenancy
Carefully read your Tenancy agreement: This is a legal contract drawn up by Henley Charles that sets out your rights and responsibilities, and the rights and responsibilities of your Landlord. It says how much rent you should pay, what repairs the Landlord must do and the rules for when your tenancy comes to an end. Carefully read and make sure that you understand the Tenancy agreement before you sign it.
Administrative deposit: After an offer has been accepted by a Landlord, it is normal for the prospective tenant to place a small deposit with Henley Charles as a sign of their good intent. If the Tenancy goes ahead this administrative deposit will be deducted from the initial monies payable.
References: Henley Charles use a professional tenant referencing service to help confirm your ability to meet the rental commitment. It is always best to be honest when you complete the reference form as they are cross-referenced with other information sources.
Inventory check-in: The inventory is a full and detailed report of the furniture, contents and state of repair of the property on the day that you move in. At the check in, make sure that you take readings of gas and electricity and check the boiler.
We will advise you who will be responsible for the day to day management of the property and provide you with the relevant contact details.
Services: You are responsible for the gas, electricity, water rates, telephone, TV licence and council tax for the duration of the Tenancy. You will need to contact the suppliers to transfer the accounts into your name. Where Henley Charles manage the property we will contact the utility companies on your behalf however you should also contact the suppliers to make sure this has been done.
Payments: Rent is normally payable monthly in advance to Henley Charles
Top tips for problem–free Tenancy
Keep a copy of your lease, inventory report, rent receipts and copies of any letters/emails you send or receive in a designated ‘Tenancy’ file folder and put it somewhere you can easily find it later.
Never stop paying your rent, even if the Landlord is not complying with their side of the agreement (eg. by failing to do repairs) – you could end up being evicted if you do.
Comply with the terms of your lease. In particular, never make any alterations, keep a pet or let other people move in without asking us for permission first.
We strongly recommend taking out home contents insurance. It will cover your belongings in case of theft, fires and natural disasters. The Landlord’s building insurance will not cover your things.