Walton on Thames

Top quality advice for first-time renters

In recent years, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of people choosing to rent a home instead of buying, and the property market has reflected this change in all parts of the UK. Here in Surrey, prospective tenants are able to choose from a diverse range of flats and houses of all shapes and sizes.

Newcomers to the renting scene can perhaps be forgiven for being a little unsure about how best to view such properties, and what to look for during those viewings. There are several do’s and don’ts here, but of course the sensible thing to do is to talk to an expert if there are any doubts. If you have any issues, feel free to speak to James Neave at the earliest opportunity.

When viewing flats and apartments in shared blocks, it’s always a good idea to ask about shared responsibilities. There may be maintenance fees which need to be paid every month to cover the cost of general repairs, grass-cutting and upkeep for communal hallways and passages. This can make a major difference to the budget.

Make sure you know about the length of a tenancy agreement before signing on the dotted line as well. You’ll also need to be aware of the security deposit that’s required; it’s worth bearing in mind that you won’t be seeing this money again until the tenancy has come to an end, and of course that you need to keep the property’s upkeep to a certain standard.

Take notes to help you keep a clear mind

When viewing properties, it’s advisable to take notes along the way, especially if you plan to see several places in one day. By the end of the experience, you may find yourself a little overwhelmed by information overload, so if you have clear notes about each home you’ll be able to make a more informed decision.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the neighbours, any previous tenants, potential issues with traffic, car parking and noise from schools, etc. Here at James Neave, we have a wonderful selection of houses and flats to rent in Surrey, and we always go the extra mile to make sure new tenants are happy with the choices they’ve made.

When you’re inside the property, take your time when going from room to room. Check that you have enough storage space for your needs, that you have adequate space in the kitchen and bathroom. Ask about heaters and, if applicable, about the provision of furniture items. If you’re on a tight budget, you don’t want to be spending money later on things that you may have thought were included.

Renting is a very viable and highly rewarding option for many, but a little homework before signing an agreement will always go a long way. As always, expert advice will make a great difference, so make sure you ask us about any issues that may be troubling you.