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Finding a property

You’ve identified a property you’d like to view – what happens next?

Once you’ve found a property that you like and which fits your needs, the next step is to request a viewing.  Simply select the ‘Request a viewing’ button on the property details and fill the short form, or alternatively you can call or email the relevant branch.

Here are a few things to bear in mind before you head off to view a property:
 

Location and Exterior

On your way to the viewing and as you arrive, get a feel for that road and area at that time of day. Take a good look around the outside of the property and check that it has been well maintained.

Is there anything immediately that looks like it needs work? Pay particular attention to windows, guttering and what you can see of the roof.

For flats and properties with shared communal areas or gardens, find out how often the communal areas are cleaned and the grounds maintained.
 

Interior

Once inside the property, look closely at how well it has been maintained:

Look at the security of the doors and windows. What are the locks like?

Confirm how the property is heated and think about how well insulated it looks/feels.

Are there enough electrical sockets for any equipment you’re planning to bring with you?

If it’s a furnished property, check what furniture will be in the property when you move in.

If you are smoker, check whether smoking is permitted in the property.

Talk to existing tenants if possible – this can help you learn what it is like to live there.
 

It can be useful to have a few things ready in advance so you can move ahead quickly:

  • Funds for a deposit and the first month’s rent.
  • Bank details
  • Identification
  • Proof of your address for the last three years
  • References from your employer and previous landlords


What to discuss before agreeing to rent the property

Some of these may seem quite obvious, but they’re important details to be aware of:

  • The deposit – check how much the deposit is, when it needs to be paid
  • Additional costs - what is included in the rent?  Are there maintenance charges? Cleaning/gardening/ground keeping charges?
  • When is the rent reviewed and how will you be notified of any changes?
  • Do you need a guarantor and if so, who do they accept as a guarantor?
  • Is the tenancy fixed term? If so, how long for?
  • What happens when the fixed term has ended?
  • Do you need contents insurance and when should this start from?