A guide to what you need to know and do
The rental market is fast moving and Letting Agents cannot always update web site listings as quickly as deposits are taken. It is only when phoning to book a viewing appointment that the actual availability is truly known.
It is best to avoid booking a viewing tour for a Monday; with viewings being conducted on a Saturday you often find that by 9:30 am on a Monday morning, your appointment is cancelled as the holding deposits have been paid on Saturday
If a property is tenanted, the current tenant has to give permission for access, so some viewing appointments can be difficult to arrange.
At the viewing
You need to take into consideration that, in the main, how you see the property is the condition it will be when your tenancy commences. Do not assume that properties are routinely re-decorated or any refurbishment or improvements are made in-between tenancies. Outgoing tenants are responsible for paying for end of tenancy cleaning and for closing down their utility accounts including Broadband.
Taking pictures on your phone is usually acceptable, but it is still courteous to ask permission, particularly if a tenant is still living at the property.
Most people think the offer is all about the price, this is not correct. Other very important factors are:
Tenancy commencement date
Length of tenancy term
Is a break clause required
Is a gardener included
Any special conditions or wish list. Landlords will not undertake things such as redecoration after an offer has been accepted
Who is the on-going Managing Agent for maintenance or repairs, is this the Letting Agent or Landlord
What happens once an offer is accepted?
The Letting Agent will take a holding deposit and this will stop other viewings while the referencing and administration process is carried out.
When should you book Broadband Internet
As soon as you know your references have cleared and that the Letting Agent is going to issue the Tenancy Agreement for signature. Most providers only take a few days to start a new account; however it can take as long as 14 days.
What to expect on key handover day
Unfortunately not a lot from the Letting Agent, they do not conduct any handover and usually the keys need to be collected from the Letting Agents office.
There will be an Inventory Clerk visit to prepare an Inventory Report, this is sometimes conducted the day before or on the day that the Tenancy commences. If you are planning to move in on your tenancy commencement date, check well in advance regarding the date and time for the Inventory Clerk as your removal company cannot commence the move in until the Inventory Clerk has completed their inspection. If this is booked for 2.00 pm in the afternoon you will have very frustrated removal men.