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As soon as you have found a property that you love and is within budget, it can be all too easy to find yourself getting prematurely carried away. It is important, however, to remember to ask both yourself and your letting agent or landlord several key questions to ensure that you are making an informed decision and fully understand the nuances of the property you will be living in for the foreseeable future.

Community

Although your agent or landlord may not know who lives in the properties surrounding the house or apartment you are viewing, it is always worth enquiring. Knowing in advance whether you can expect noisy or quiet neighbours will contribute to your overall peace of mind and help you to make an informed decision as to whether this is the right location for you. If you discover that past tenants haven’t had the best experience, you might want to consider looking for an alternative property.

Especially pertinent if you are viewing a flat or an apartment, understanding who is responsible for shared areas such as courtyards, gardens and hallways is imperative. You need to know whether you will be expected to contribute to their maintenance financially or otherwise.

If there is an emergency, make sure you know who to call for assistance and ensure it’s a number that can be used 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Interior

Ensure you understand precisely what is included with the property. Will you need your own furniture, washing machine, or fridge? You might already personally own an item that is being offered with the property, in which case it is advisable to ask whether you can replace theirs with yours.

Many letting agreements will stipulate that you cannot undertake any DIY or interior decoration. If they refuse any major changes, make sure to ask whether it is possible to install some hooks to hang some photographs or artwork to make the place feel more like your own.