Tenants have a hard time as it is navigating their wish lists and the multitude of rentals on the London real estate market. When you also factor in the number of things you don’t necessarily see in a property the first time you view it and may only find after you’ve rented and are already living in it, it can be downright difficult to find the rental of your dreams.
In this article, our Stratford estate agents have put together a comprehensive list of 5 things every tenant needs to know about a property before renting in Stratford, London. Follow these simple tips and you will be one step closer to your ideal rental home in East London.
If you are looking to rent a property in East London, contact our estate agents in Stratford at 0207 055 0441 today. They will be able to assist you in not only finding the best properties but also identifying hidden flaws that can affect your lease.
What you can find in this article:
Check the Property Thoroughly
A thorough walkthrough will tell you much of what you need to know about a property. The key word here being ‘thorough’.
If you have an experienced Stratford estate agent by your side during your viewings they will be able to point out what it is you should look out for.
For those who don’t have an experienced agent with them, our estate agents in Stratford have listed the main boxes to check when visiting a potential rental:
When it comes to the outside of a property, you want to check the fence, if any, how well the outside space or garden is maintained, as well as if the gutters are clean and working properly.
Our estate agents in Stratford also recommend you take this opportunity to check the state of the exterior walls, doors, and window frames.
Once you enter the property, take a closer look at the walls and floors. Doing this will give you a good idea of any recent damage like leaky pipes or other types of water damage. If you do notice any signs of damage, our estate agents in Stratford advise you to discuss with the landlord to understand what the issue was and make sure it doesn’t happen again while you are staying there.
If you notice stains on the carpets, take note of them to ensure you and the landlord are aware this damage was not caused by you but by the previous tenant. Depending on the extent of the damage, you can also ask the landlord to change the carpet before you move in.
In general, our Stratford estate agents recommend you take note (and pictures) of any damage you see during your walkthrough and mention them in the inspection report.
Other things to look out for are the electric sockets and light switches, the heating and ventilation systems, and the water pressure. Try the taps and check if they work properly and turn on the heating and AC.
Our estate agents in Stratford always recommend you thoroughly check the large appliances in the property, such as the fridge, stove, washing machine, and dishwasher, too. They should be clean and functioning properly. If they are not, you should discuss with the landlord to have them changed.
Safety is, of course, another important aspect whenever you are renting a property in Stratford, London.
Check that the rental home is properly fitted with smoke alarms and CO2 detectors. They should be connected to the mains and be installed on every storey of the property.
You should also ask the landlord or their Stratford estate agent to provide the following:
- User manuals for appliances and equipment
- A copy of the How to Rent guide
- Details of the deposit protection scheme
- The property’s Energy Performance Certificate
- A record of electrical inspections
- The property’s gas safety certificate
Other useful information you should have about the home includes:
- An inventory of the fixtures and fittings
- Contact details for the landlord or their letting agent
- The procedure to follow in case of maintenance issues or emergencies
Ask the Right Questions
Here are the most important questions our estate agents in Stratford encourage you to ask the landlord or their assigned letting agent:
- How is the rental property classified? If it is a licensed HMO, it should have more safeguards for tenants.
- What is the minimum duration of the lease?
- Who is in charge of maintenance issues?
- How much is the holding deposit? What are the conditions for it to be refunded?
- Do you have the EPC and required gas and electricity safety documents?
- When was the boiler last serviced?
- Does the property have the required smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms fitted? When were they last checked?
- Does the property have insurance?
- May I see a lease contract draft before signing?
With some properties, another unpleasant surprise you may have is additional costs. According to our estate agents in Stratford, you should always ask about any additional charges upfront.
Make sure you inquire about:
- Deposit amount and due date
- Fee cost per person
- Tenancy fees
- Any other costs relating to the tenancy
- Future costs relating to the tenancy (exit or renewal fees)
Know Your Rights
Last but not least, our estate agents in Stratford emphasize that knowing your rights is the best way to ensure a quiet and enjoyable tenancy.
You should know that, for instance, landlords can’t drop in unannounced to check on the property. If they want to do this, they will have to announce their visit priorly by sending a notice or have an emergency.
When you move out, the landlord will also have to return your security deposit under the conditions of the tenancy agreement, in a timely manner.
You can check out the complete list of rights you have as a tenant in the UK here. Our estate agents in Stratford advise you to read through them before any tenancy and always make sure your landlord and the tenancy agreement abide by these terms.
If you are looking for a new home in East London, our experienced estate agents in Stratford can give you access to exclusive properties and help you secure a better price and better terms. Contact our experienced agents today at 0207 055 0441.