Questions to ask when viewing a rental property

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Shopping for your next potential rental property is exciting. Attending an in-person apartment viewing that exceeds all of your expectations is even more exciting. So now it’s time to make your way to the estate agents to sign the lease as soon as possible, right? Wrong. Although it may be tempting to want to secure a great apartment that others are vying for, there are a number of questions you must ask before you can even think about sealing the deal. Continue reading to find out what you should be asking your estate agent during your next rental property viewing. 

What is included?

One of the first questions you should ask is whether the apartment will be offered furnished or unfurnished. Although it may appear well-equipped with high-quality furniture and appliances during the initial viewing, this may be the property of the current tenant. An estate agent may also furnish an apartment with rental furniture for viewing purposes only. You must find out which fixtures and fittings will stay and which will go. This allows you to plan accordingly and purchase any furniture required in advance of your move-in date. Most online apartment listings will state whether an apartment will be offered furnished or unfurnished, but it is a good idea to confirm this with the estate agent at the in-person viewing. Property websites with an apartment or house for rent kota kinabalu based or elsewhere allows prospective tenants the opportunity to find out whether a rental property is fully or partially furnished or unfurnished at a glance. 

How much is the rent?

Although this information is usually one of the first things included on the online listing, it is worth confirming. There may have been a typing error or a mix up with another apartment. By asking in person, you will have written and verbal confirmation of how much rent is due each month as well as how and when it should be paid. It is also worth finding out if rent costs are likely to vary during the course of the year or if you will benefit from the security of a fixed rate. As well as rent, it is also worth asking how much of a tenancy deposit is required to secure the apartment and if it is to be paid up-front. You must also clarify the terms and conditions of the tenancy deposit and ensure it is promptly paid into a safe deposit scheme. 

How much are bills?

Another important question to ask is how much bills will be and whether or not they will be included in the rental price. This question must be answered at the earliest possible opportunity. This reduces the chances of any unexpected monthly payments or greater rent costs down the line. If you plan to share the apartment with a partner or flatmate, it may also be a good idea to calculate how much your portion of the bills will be and how overall monthly costs will be split between tenants. 

What are the neighbours like?

Although your estate agent may not be able to answer this question, your landlord is likely to know who lives in the apartments located next door, above and below you. Neighbours can be a key deciding factor in deciding where to live. A good neighbour may convince you to take the plunge and sign the lease but a neighbour with a particularly sketchy reputation may be the reason you opt out of an otherwise perfect rental property. You must also consider your own behaviour and whether or not your lifestyle choices are likely to disturb or cause problems for your new neighbours. 

Are pets allowed? 

To prevent any disagreements or disputes down the line, you must clarify if pets can live in the rental property. Each landlord has their own policy when it comes to pets and it may not be clearly stated online. Some landlords also make exceptions for certain animals or animals they have personally deemed suitable to live in the property. Landlords may also change their mind at a later stage if you prove to be an otherwise reliable and responsible tenant. 

Can I redecorate? 

As well as pets, you must also receive confirmation that you can or cannot redecorate the apartment. Landlords may be happy to undertake any maintenance or renovations prior to you moving in. They may also allow you to do it yourself on the condition you follow specific guidelines or agree to hire a contractor of their choice. Redecorating or altering the appearance of the apartment without your landlord’s permission may result in the loss of your deposit and perhaps even early termination of your lease. When in doubt, just ask. 

Renting a property is a big deal. From rent and bills to pets and neighbours, there are so many things to consider before you sign the dotted line. By asking these questions, and more, you can be sure you have chosen the perfect rental property for you and are ready to make an informed decision. 

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