Renting a house - what you need to know when looking for a new place to rent

Before you even thing about renting a new place to live, you need to do some background research to ensure that you get a place that is first worthwhile and second meets all your needs.

Here are some things you need to do before you even consider renting a new place.

Remember that if the place you are renting is over a bar or a restaurant, unless they have really good insulation, you're going hear lots of noise from downstairs.
Remember that if the place you are renting is over a bar or a restaurant, unless they have really good insulation, you're going hear lots of noise from downstairs. | Source

Never Check The Place Out At Night

Also it's wise that you never book an appointment to see a place at nighttime unless it can't be avoided. But ask too see it again in the day time because who knows what the dark is hiding.

There could be recycling centre at the back of the building which could be very active at certain times of the day.

If you worked night shifts, then you would never get any sleep.

Check Out The Area

The first thing you need to do, before you even think about renting a place is to check out the locality.

If you've never been to this place before, then it's worthwhile driving over there with a friend to check the place out in advance before making an appointment to actually see it. Many times the landlord might give you a false impression of a place that they are really trying hard to rent.

But don't limit yourself to just checking it once. Check it out at different times of the day. Drive over there late in the evening and again on the weekend to see what's happening. That is when you will get a real idea about what a place is like, when all the people in the neighbourhood are at home.

You might find that while it's nice and quite in the morning or late afternoon, by late evening around 9:00 o clock, it's a hive of activity. Maybe there's lots of school children hanging around outside playing ball, maybe the house next door which was nice and quite earlier is now playing music at full decimal.

Don't Get Scammed

It's vital that you actually do get confirmation that the place been rented belongs to the person who's actually renting it. There are many scams out there that find unsuspecting renters and show them a place for rent. Then when they get the deposit, you find out that they don't own the place at all.

It could belong to the bank, it could be that they themselves have gotten an eviction notice and think to trick an unsuspecting person into renting a property not actually for rent.

Always do plenty of research on a place you are going to rent. It's wise to check online the name of the landlord to make sure they are actually fully registered as a landlord.
Always do plenty of research on a place you are going to rent. It's wise to check online the name of the landlord to make sure they are actually fully registered as a landlord. | Source

What To Look For When Renting

When you arrive at the place you are going to rent, you really need to thoroughly check it out to ensure it's up to your standards. Walk through every room in the apartment or house.

  • Check any walls that are newly painted to ensure there is no dampness being covered up with paint. Any house that has dampness in it has a particular smell associated to it. So trust your instincts if you are suspicious of the place. If you see any mould near the ceiling, step back and try to leave as soon as you can has.

  • Check all the doors and locks at the front and the back of the place to make sure they are secure. Check all the inside doors and ensure that each one has their own key in the door.

  • It's also wise to ask who has a key for the place, as you don't want your landlord or a previous tenant walking in unannounced when you're not at home. Legally landlords are supposed to give you written notice if they wanted to meet up with you.

  • Check that all the windows open and close without problems. Check to make sure that the windows are secure and can be locked from the inside. If they are wooden, make sure that they aren't rotten. Again this would be quite obvious if you noticed any of the windows looking newly painted. If the window frame was rotten, then it would appear thin and rough looking. Remember paint can hide some things, but if you take a careful look you will spot things. If the windows have gaps in the frame, then this allows air in and heat out. You can bet that any heat in the room is going to end up going out the window. Then you'll really be annoyed when you get your heating bill.

  • Turn on all the taps in the house and ensure that you are getting clean hot and cold water from all of them.

  • Check to see if they are washing facilities like a dryer and washing machine available for use.

  • Also if the is central heating, make sure there're is sufficient ventilation in all the rooms.

  • Check to see if the cost of heat and light or garbage collection is included in the rental price. If you have to pay for this along with water and refuse charges, then the rental price at the end of the month could be a lot higher than you anticipated.

10 Things to know before renting an apartment

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Lease Agreement

Never sign a lease with a landlord without fully checking it out. Once you have committed to it, any deposit you have given will be lost if you break it.

Having a lease can also secure your rights because they can't evict you without giving you plenty of notice.

There are laws they have to follow which must be obey.


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When you get to the bedroom, check under the bed, check the wardrobes and all the cupboard to make sure that everything is still in good condition. Lift up the bed mattress to see if the base if in good condition.Check all the windows in the house to make sure they open and close. Also check to make sure that they can be locked from the inside.Check that all the keys in each room work. Also find out who has a key to the place. You might want to get new locks if old tenants have keys.Check the taps to make sure you get clean hot and cold water.
When you get to the bedroom, check under the bed, check the wardrobes and all the cupboard to make sure that everything is still in good condition. Lift up the bed mattress to see if the base if in good condition.
When you get to the bedroom, check under the bed, check the wardrobes and all the cupboard to make sure that everything is still in good condition. Lift up the bed mattress to see if the base if in good condition. | Source
Check all the windows in the house to make sure they open and close. Also check to make sure that they can be locked from the inside.
Check all the windows in the house to make sure they open and close. Also check to make sure that they can be locked from the inside. | Source
Check that all the keys in each room work. Also find out who has a key to the place. You might want to get new locks if old tenants have keys.
Check that all the keys in each room work. Also find out who has a key to the place. You might want to get new locks if old tenants have keys. | Source
Check the taps to make sure you get clean hot and cold water.
Check the taps to make sure you get clean hot and cold water. | Source

Bring A Friend

Never go to look at someplace by yourself. It's just a lot wiser to have a second opinion from a person you trust. They will tell you straight away if they like or dislike a place. They might also think to check or ask questions that you yourself might forget to ask.

Also if it's just you and the landlord, then you might fell pressured into taking in a place. Before you know it, you've paid a deposit and signed a lease. Once done, it's very hard to break.

Once you're happy that everything is up to the standard you require, you can sign your lease and move in.
Once you're happy that everything is up to the standard you require, you can sign your lease and move in. | Source

Never Pay Cash

Finally, if you decide to rent a place, try to either pay each months rent by direct debit. If you can't use this method, then try to pay using a check. You want to have your own record that shows that you are paying your rent each month.

While most times you will get a receipt, it's still better if there is a paper trail leading back to your payments. This way if any difficulty arose later on regarding payment, you have solid proof.

© 2014 Sp Greaney

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2 comments

sangre profile image

sangre 2 years ago from Ireland Author

hi Efficient Admin, thanks. I think sometimes a few landlords can be a little vague with the information that they share. So it's up to ourselves to suss out what's what's. :)


Efficient Admin profile image

Efficient Admin 2 years ago from Charlotte, NC

These are great tips. It can be difficult to find a nice apartment to rent that is affordable but these tips can help eliminate problem rentals from the list. I like the advice to check out at different times of the day to see what the neighbors are like. Voted up and useful, interesting.

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