Walton on Thames



Five tips to successful renting

Renting a home can be a joyous experience, but only if you take care to choose the right property at the right price. There are a huge number of flats and houses available on the rental market these days, so it makes sense to do some ground work before you sign on any dotted line. Here are five helpful tips for anyone who’s thinking about renting in the coming year.


1. Never underestimate the value of research

You may only get the chance to see a property once or twice before you have to make a decision, but you can spend all the time in the world researching the local area. Check out the nearby amenities, including shops, medical centres, bus routes and train stations. Be sure to think about your daily commute, and what you may want to do at the weekends. And if you have any questions, just ask the estate agent.

2. Don’t be afraid to make notes

Many people arrange to view a number of properties on any given day, and by the time they get home the plus and minus points of each of them tend to melt together like pieces of plasticine. Before such memories become nothing more than an unhelpful blob, jot down a few notes as you go along. Later, when you go through the notes you’ll remember what you did and didn’t like about each property.


3. Be careful with the finances

The wisest potential renters will have worked out beforehand just what they can and cannot afford. This needs to be done carefully, because you need to think about more than just the cost of the monthly rent. You’ll need to consider the cost of council tax, utilities and, if necessary, the price of getting to and from work. Also, ask about issues such as shared maintenance costs.


4. Choose agents who know the local area

Your chosen estate agency should be more than just a shop window for available properties. Make sure you choose an agent who knows all about the local area, who can advise on all aspects of the housing market and who can act as the perfect conduit between tenant and owner. Here at James Neave, we are experts in our region, and we’re always happy to advise on all aspects of renting.


5. Ask a few questions

There are plenty of questions you need to be asking before you move in. They include enquiring about the location of the stopcock, the fuse box and the gas and electricity meters. Ask about your responsibility for TV licensing, whether you’re allowed to decorate, mow the lawn, keep pets and just about anything else you can think of.