Rental properties have reached a high standard of quality and maintenance over the years. There are now many reasons why families, couples, and individuals choose to rent. It can be a temporary solution related to jobs or finances. Or it can be a genuine preference over owning a home and the maintenance responsibilities that go with it. Whatever your reason for moving into a rental property, it can be easy to overlook some essential features. Amongst the chaos of packing your life away into boxes, some vital things can slip our mind. The suggestions below should help remind you of what to check before moving into a rental property.
A landlord should ensure that a property’s gas safety checks are thorough and up-to-date. A Gas and Safety Certificate may have also been obtained and will contain vital information. You will be able to find out exactly when the check was last performed. You will also be able to see if there was any visible damage or defects and what was done to correct them. Unmonitored gas levels pose all kinds of health threats. From a risk of explosion to respiratory problems, gas leaks need to be addressed immediately. Reputable landlords will be happy to provide evidence of the health and safety checks their properties have passed. Don’t hesitate to ask.
It can be helpful to run both the hot and cold taps in the kitchen and bathroom. Testing the shower and listening for any unexpected sounds that suggest strain or faults can be wise. Any faulty plumbing should be clearly detailed by the landlord. But if the property is being advertised as without these faults, we have a right to check them. Moving in and discovering problems can be hugely disruptive and add unnecessary stress. It may take time to call out a plumber or professional. They may then take several hours, days or even weeks to correct the problem depending on its severity. If we can ensure that any situation like this is dealt with before moving in, our transition to the new property will be much smoother.
Try to pay attention to the humidity of the rooms. Telltale signs of damp can be on the ceiling and in corners. Notice whether windows have been left open to allow air to circulate or whether a central heating system keeps things regulated. Damp can become problematic as it can aggravate health conditions and allergies. It can also damage our furniture over time. Most landlords address damp as a matter of urgency. Some areas and regions will have to be more vigilant against damp than others. The air should feel fresh and not “claustrophobic”. We will breathe easier and live better if our rented home is free from damp.
There is a wide variety of attitudes to security amongst landlords. Many will insist that previous owners return keys and are not permitted to make spares. But this can be difficult to enforce. It may be worth enquiring whether the locks can be changed when you move in. It is then also wise to check windows and other entrances for locks and stability.