Aside from the basics - location, price, the minimum number of bedrooms, there are quite a few things to consider, most of which can all be found BEFORE a viewing. Here's our top 10 to help make a more informed choice.
#10 - Can I afford the rent?
A quick calculation to do is take your annual income and divide it by 30. So if you're income is £21,000, that would equal £700. If your interested in a property where the rent is shown to be more than you can afford, an option may be to have a guarantor or pay the rent in advance for the whole tenancy.
# 9 - Location, location, location!
All property listings come with a map. It seems obvious but check how far it will take you to get to work, to school, or any other place of interest you usually need to get to. If the property of your dreams isn't close to where you need to be, perhaps it isn't right for you. Rightmove has a handy 'School Checker' tab which will show all the local schools available.
# 8 - What transport links are available
Similar to number 8 above, you can find out distances from train stations easily by visiting the listing on Rightmove and under the map will be a list of nearest train stations.
# 7 - What is access like?
If the property you're interested in is in a block of flats on the top floor with no lift and you have a buggy to contend with, chances are the property might not be suitable. Check the description to see what floor the property is on and what access there is.
# 6 - Are pets welcome?
Most landlords consider pets a high risk because of the potential for damage and/or smells that can occur in the property. If a property will accept pets, it will be listed under 'features' section as 'Pet-Friendly'.
# 5 - What furniture or appliances come with the property?
Don't assume all properties will come with appliances, or that a property will come totally unfurnished. The property description will list what comes in each room, and it's important to make a note of anything you think you'll need. If there's an item of furniture or an appliance you don't need, it's best to ask before the viewing if this is something that's possible.
# 4 - Is the Property big enough
Our properties come with floor plans, so you should have a pretty good indication of the layout. Don't be tempted to go by the photos alone, because photos can give an unfair impression of a space. If you're sharing a property, you'll need to make sure the bedrooms are equal size, or at least suitable for your needs - the floor plan will help.
# 3 - Check the parking arrangements
Not all properties come with parking so it's best practice not to assume. The property description should list what parking arrangements there are but if you're not sure, don't be afraid to ask.
# 2 - When is the property available from?
Rental properties are usually marketed at least a month before the current tenancy ends which means a property you're interested in might not be available right away. Check the property advert to see when the availability date is set for.
# 1 - Be prepared to secure the property quickly
Before the viewing, you should have a pretty fair understanding of the property already and whether you think it would be the right choice for you. The viewing is really to establish if the property 'feels' right for you, and would be suitable as a home. (It's also a good opportunity to ask any additional questions you might have). If you think you're ready to proceed, don't delay! Properties go quite quickly and often there can be multiple viewings on the same day.
To secure the property for you, you'll need to submit your application (emailed to you after the viewing) quickly and make a payment for the referencing fee to secure the property.