17 things to always ask when looking for a flat

Could this BE any more important?

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Looking for a new place to stay can be tricky. There are so many things you have to think about, that you've probably never even considered.

We were a bit worried about you, so we've prepared a handy list of all the questions you MUST ask when house-hunting to ensure you find a happy home.

In fact, we care so much about you there's even a handy printable list you can download at the end of the article.

  1. 1 How much is the rent?

    Basic, yes, but don't forget to find out what's the payment structure like. Some landlords might prefer to be paid quarterly or even yearly. Do you get a discount for doing so?

    And do they have a specific date they need to be paid. And does that match up with when your salary hits your bank account?

  2. 2 Are there any agency admin fees?

    If so, are they one-off, or regular?

  3. 3 How much is the deposit?

    And will the landlord put it in a government-backed tenancy deposit scheme (TDP)?

    If the answer is "no," run away. It is actually illegal not to do so.

  4. 4 How long is the lease?

    Can you prolong or shorten it? What is the policy in case you need to move out sooner than the end of your lease?

  5. 5 How much are the bills?

    What will you have to pay: water, electricity, gas? Is it metered?

  6. 6 How much is the council tax?

    Remember, if you live on your own, you can apply for a single person discount.

  7. 7 What's actually included with the flat?

    Ask about the furniture and appliances. If there's more furniture than you need, ask if it's possible for the landlord to take some of it away during your tenancy. If anything looks especially rundown or broken, ask about replacement options.

  8. 8 Do you require rental insurance?

    (Most likely you will.) If so, how much is it?

  9. 9 How are emergency repairs taken care of?

    Is there a company that takes care of several properties, including yours, or is the landlord personally responsible for fixing all the repairs?

    Make sure you know who to contact in case something happens.

  10. 10 What are the average yearly rent increase and turnover rates?

    If both are high, it might be a sign there's something wrong with the property. It could be a red flag that it's not the one for you.

  11. 11 Have things like gas heater, smoke detectors, and fire extinguishers all been serviced recently?

    The landlord is obliged by law to keep all the appliances serviced and up to date.

  12. 12 What's the public transport and shop situation nearby?

    Sure, the flat might be nice, but if it will take you ages to get to work, then maybe it's not worth it.

  13. 13 What about clubs, cafés, restaurants, and parks?

    Location, location, location. Having a nice place to eat nearby or a quiet park where you can relax after a long day is very important. You might not think so now, but you eventually will. Trust us on this one. Not being able to open your window because of the noise of the road is soul destroying.

  14. 14 Who is responsible for the internet connection in your flat?

    The most important question, really.

    IF CURRENT TENANTS ARE PRESENT:

  15. 15 How are the noise levels throughout the day?

    You never know, maybe the guy next door you saw on your way in loves practicing his electric guitar at 2am. It's better to find out before you move in.

  16. 16 What are the neighbours like?

    Similarly, if you work from home or study a lot, perhaps moving into a flat right next to a group of loud party people is not the best idea.

  17. 17 Is the house energy-efficient?

    Sure, the landlord has to give you the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), BUT this piece of paper does not paint the full picture of how the temperature in your future flat/house can fluctuate throughout the year.

    Ask the current tenants how difficult it is to keep the place warm at winter. Try to find out if the flat gets super hot during the summer, which is often the case when it's a top floor flat. Don't forget to check the water temperature and pressure as well as what type of windows are installed (single or double glazed).

    Here, take this handy, printable/downloadable checklist with you:

    Good luck in your search!

    With more properties than anywhere else, find your happy at Rightmove.

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