If you’re engaged in the task of looking for short term apartments in London then it can be a stressful and difficult process. The sheer range of properties and rooms available can be overwhelming and, faced with the task of sorting the high quality offerings from those which don’t meet the mark, the average person might make the mistake of moving into a place which is highly unsuitable. That’s why it’s always wisest to seek out as much advice as possible, and the following short guide should remove a lot of the stress from finding somewhere to live.
The first thing to think about is exactly where your flat will be situated. With the sheer number of flats to rent in London which are available, it’s vital to focus your search on a smaller and more specific area. In many cases this will boil down to finding somewhere which is close to your place of work or study, or at the very least lies within easy reach of transport links such as the tube. The internet means that it’s become much simpler than it used to be to do your research and look into factors such as the crime rate in certain areas and the availability of amenities such as shops, a leisure centre, medical facilities and so on. In most cases, there is nothing which offers a better impression of a location than simply walking around – visit at different times of the day and, if you get the chance, have a chat with people who live there to get an honest and detailed appraisal of what life on the street in question is actually like.
Many people hesitate before entering into a relationship with a letting agency, fearful that they might be exploited and taken advantage of. The truth, however, is that a larger agency will have built up a long term data base of satisfied customers to whom you can be referred for reassurance. By talking to other tenants in this manner you’ll quickly be able to build up a detailed and honest picture of the way in which an agency treats its’ tenants and the level of service which is provided. Once you’ve satisfied yourself that you’ve found a trustworthy letting agent, what’s more, you can relax in the knowledge that the property you rent will meet all of the relevant safety standards in terms of factors such as gas and electricity.
- Protect Yourself
If you find a listing for a flat which sounds too good to be true then there’s every chance that that’s exactly what it is. Never be tempted to send money for a property without actually seeing it and never allow yourself to be pressured into making a hasty decision. A reputable landlord or agency will have no problem with you wanting to take some time over your decision. On the contrary, the more careful you are and the more sensible questions you ask, the better tenant you’re more likely to be in the long term.
- Inside Information
If it’s possible, make a point of talking to the tenants who rented the flat before you. They will have no vested interest in misleading you and will be honest about any problems with the accommodation which a landlord or agent might try to keep secret. They will also tell you about things such as how easy it is to arrange repairs and liaise with the owners of the property.
When you look round the flat check for basics such as the gas, electricity and water all functioning properly. At the same time, make sure that you look out for any faults, leaks or problems such as cracked and damaged floors or work surfaces – no matter what the problem is you will be well within your rights to ask for it to be repaired, and noting and photographing any damage, before reporting it to your landlord, will prove to be invaluable should any disputes over deposits arise. Once you’ve moved into the flat you should put together a full photographic inventory and pass a copy on to your landlord, since this will ensure that you are not held responsible for damage which was actually caused by a previous tenant. When putting this together, make sure you move all the furniture to check what might be hiding underneath.
Before moving into your property, take the time to read and re-read the contract you’re signing in order to ensure that you know exactly what your rights and responsibilities are. Your landlord, for example, does not have the right to enter the property without your permission, and must deal with any problems which aren’t your fault as quickly as possible. As well as reading and understanding the contract it is important to understand that any tenant has certain rights which are enshrined in the law. If you feel that your landlord or agency is failing in their duty to uphold there end of the bargain then you have every right to make a complaint to the local council.
It should always be borne in mind that renting an accommodation is a two way process. As much as you want your landlord to behave in the correct manner, they will be hoping that you treat their property with care and consideration. Simple things such as paying the rent promptly, maintaining good relationships with neighbours and reporting any problems as soon as they occur will all help to keep the process of renting a property running smoothly.