Sep 22, 2014

Important Questions to Ask Letting Agents when Looking to Rent a Property

Although renting a property is exciting, particularly if it is your first time moving away from your parent’s house, it should not be a process you rush. Here are some important questions to ask letting agents when looking to rent a property.

How long is the tenancy agreement?

Some letting agents will offer short term rental contracts, whereas others may offer longer ones. It is common for letting agents to initially offer a six month contract, after which if both parties are happy, it becomes a rolling contract until either party decides to end the tenancy agreement.  The notice periods should be outlined in the tenancy agreement that you will have to sign prior to moving into a rented property.

Unfurnished properties will usually be cheaper to rent, however you will have to invest in your own furniture.

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Is it furnished, part furnished or unfurnished?

It is likely that you will have a preference when it comes to furnished or unfurnished properties, so this something you will need to check with the letting agent when viewing a rented property. Part furnished properties usually contain white goods only. 

Which deposit protection scheme do you use?

By law, landlords and letting agents in the UK are required to place tenants’ deposits into a government-approved deposit protection scheme. They are also required by law to provide information about the deposit protection scheme they use. The reason deposit protection schemes are used is to provide a resolution service if there is a dispute over the deposit at the end of a tenancy. 

Can I see electrical, boiler and gas installation reports?

It is important to make sure a property is safe prior to agreeing to rent it. Make sure that the landlord or letting agent can provide you with the relevant reports and certifications. They should also be able to provide you with information about energy performance, so you can get a better idea of how efficient the property is. 

Who is responsible for maintaining the garden?

Usually the landlord will be responsible for maintaining the building and garden. However it is worth clearing this up with the letting agent when viewing the property and ensuring it is covered in your tenancy agreement.

Although the landlord may be responsible for the upkeep of the garden, you may be required to agree to general weeding and tidying tasks.
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Who lives next door or upstairs?

If you will be living in a semi-detached house, a terraced house or a house that has been converted into a number of flats, you will be living in close proximity of your neighbours. It is important to find out who they are, so you can get a better idea of their lifestyle. For example, if you are a couple with a baby, it is unlikely you will want to live next door to a house full of students and visa versa. 

How long were the previous tenants living there?

Finding out this information should give you a better idea of whether or not the previous tenants were happy living in the property. If they were only there for a short period of time and the letting agent gives no reason, it may suggest that there was something wrong with the property. 

Is a parking space included?

If there is not a drive way or a garage with the rented property, it is worth enquiring about parking space. Sometimes rented flats and houses will come with their own parking spaces. Find out if you will need a parking permit. 

What is the council tax band?

When you rent a property it is likely that you will be responsible for paying council tax, as well as the cost of rent and utility bills. Find out what council tax band the property falls under. Some bands are more expensive than others. You can find out more about council tax costs by visiting your local council’s website. 


When it comes to renting a property it can be easy to get carried away with the excitement of it all. We advise to search the internet for local accommodation, e.g. type “student accommodation London” and then look through our practical suggestions above.

Asking these questions to the landlord when viewing a property will ensure you make a wise and well informed decision about whether to rent it or not.

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