Finding the right home to rent is important as you’ll be spending a lot of time in your new home.  And the last thing you want to do is have to start your search again and move to a new house.

Getting prepared for your next rental viewing will help you avoid any mishaps and miscommunications with your landlord or letting agent.  By asking the following questions, you’ll be able to see if the property is worth its monthly rental costs and if it’s the right fit for you.

Question 1: Who will be managing the property, a letting agent or landlord?

Signing a rental agreement

One of the most important things a landlord should do before even thinking about letting out a property is to make sure it is habitable and safe to live in.

It may not seem like an important question to begin with, but you will need to know this before moving in. When you move into your new property, and for example, the toilet starts playing up; who do you contact? If your landlord is paying a letting agent to manage the property, you need to contact them as opposed to your landlord, as it’s their job to help you. If your property is managed, then a letting agent will decide whether the issue needs to be spoken with the landlord, or if they can send their handyman straight to the property.

Regardless of who is managing the property, make sure you’re given the contact details of either party – this is a legal requirement for a landlord to give you. (To find out more on what a landlord needs to give new tenants, read here.

Question 2: Can I have a pet or decorate the property?


Its vital to know what you can and cannot do to the property you are renting. If you do something that the landlord wasn’t aware of, they could deduct money from your deposit.

Before the amendments to Tenant Fees Act 2019, only 7% of private landlords said they would accept pets into a rental property. If you have a pet, or are thinking about getting one, speak with property manager at the viewing. The last thing you want is to move in and then find out you cannot keep your pet in the property.

When it comes to redecorating, every landlord will have a different answer. Many will say if you vacate the property how you left it, then it will be fine. But others may want a professional to carry out the work, or not at all.

The best thing to do, is when you’re at a rental viewing, as if you can alter or change something. If you’re with a letting agent, they may need to double check with the landlord first.


Question 3: does the property come furnished or unfurnished?


Make sure ask when at a rental viewing, what will remain in the property before you move in. This will allow you time to get rid of any furniture you don’t want to bring, and avoid unintended clutter when you move in.

If you see something you don’t want in the property, ask the landlord if they would be happy to remove it. They might ask that you keep it in storage and put it back when you vacate the property.

Whether the property comes furnished or not, make sure you document everything in the inventory. This will help prevent any disputes and protect your deposit.


Question 4: What is the water and heating like?

Make sure to check what type of boiler is in the property, and how old it is. Also, when the boiler was last checked. This is important to indicate how energy efficient the boiler may be, and if it’s due for a check soon.

Your landlord is legally required to have gas appliances and flues annually checked, which includes having the boiler serviced. 

Check the water pressure during the rental viewing. This is something many of us will overlook when viewing a property, but you’ll be thankful you did.

Another thing to check, is if the property comes with double-glazed windows. Double glazing will help retain the heat in your home and reduce your energy bills.

Viewing a rental property

Question 5: What are the up-front costs and length of lease


Knowing how much the deposit and holding fee will be is important, so you can gauge how much funds you will need upfront, and if you can afford it. If you don’t have the funds upfront, you may lose the property to someone else.

Another thing to ask at your rental viewing, is how long the lease is and can you amend it. Your lease is there to protect yourself and the landlord. If you are only looking for a short-term lease, but the landlord wants a long-term tenant, then you may not be suitable for the property.

When you’re at a rental viewing, don’t be scared to ask lots of questions. The more questions you ask, the more likely you’ll realize if the place is right for your or not. Also, don’t be afraid to ask if the landlord can amend or change something. For example, if the carpet is looking very worn, the landlord may be happy to replace this before you move in.

If you’ve seen a property on our website, and would like to book a viewing, please contact our team today.


Our rental valuations are a free, no obligation service.

Excellent service provided by Cotters letting team, in particular Sue and Jo. Kept updated throughout the process and successful in findings tenants within 2 weeks. They shared great tips and knowledge.

Will definitely be using Cotters again.

Abu, Northampton