Moving Tips

10 things to check before renting a house

Author: Amit Phalke

Things to check before renting a house

Questions to ask when renting a house locally.
Questions to ask before renting a house in another city.
What to check when renting a house when you move abroad.

One of the most important things when moving to a new city is finding a good house. Ideally, your home search should start before you actually move.

If you are moving for a new job, you can ask your office colleagues or HR for help. If you are moving in search of a new job, the ideal thing would be to ask a friend or relative to help you find accommodation. If none of this works, you can always look at sites like 99acres, Housing, MagicBricks or similar real estate sites.

Renting a house isn’t easy. Before you decide to rent a place it is important to carefully inspect the house and the area you’ll be staying in. After all, you don’t want to be stuck in an uncomfortable house with unfriendly neighbours, right?

To make sure you do not end up renting a house you won’t enjoy living in, we’ve put together a list of 10 very important questions you must ask before renting a house.

1. Research the area

Depending on your lifestyle and budget, decide if the house you’re planning to rent is right for you.If you travel by public transport too often, make sure your house is in a place that is easily accessible. If you have your own vehicle, make sure it will be safe when parked outside. If you have children, ensure it is safe for them too.

2. Who are your neighbours?

They say your neighbour is the first person you turn to in times of need. Also, if your neighbour is someone grumpy or mischievous and keeps picking fights over tiny things, you’ll end up feeling miserable in your own house. All this drama can easily be avoided if you talk to them before renting the house. You can’t get to know them too well on the first day itself, but you can still grasp if they are warm and friendly or cold and distant.

3. Is water available 24X7?

If you are moving from a place where this wasn’t a problem, it’s very easy to forget this. But it is a very important question that you must never forget to ask.
24 hours water supply is still a luxury in many parts of the country. If you are taking help of a broker for renting a house, ask him about this. Ask your neighbours and the building watchmen about it.
If water supply is a problem, ask your landlord what arrangements they have made for it. Ask how others in the area manage this problem and work it out before you sign the agreement.

4. Is electricity a problem?

Like water, electricity also is an issue in many parts of India. If you are moving from a place where it isn’t, you’ll be surprised to know how many people use power backups and generators in their homes. This is true even for many areas in major metros.
To avoid disappointment, ask your landlord about it. If electricity is an issue, ask about how it can be managed.

5. What is the rent and security deposit?

A security deposit is a fixed amount of money that a tenant is required to pay before moving in the house. Landlords usually use this in case the tenants cause any harm or damage to their property. The amount is decided based on the rent you pay and is a one time payment.
Before agreeing on the rent, it is advisable that you ask what the usual rates around are. Once the rent has been decided and the contract has been signed, you won’t be able to step back. If you find the rent too expensive or unaffordable, back out before signing the papers.

6. Will the landlord paint the house before you move in?

For tenants, this is usually a given. But if the landlord has recently renovated the house or doesn’t feel the need to, he might refuse to do it.
Also check for cracks and leakage. Based on the condition of the house, you can take a call.
If you really like the house and are willing to spend some money, you can offer to do it yourself. But always ask before making any changes in the house.

7. Are you allowed to decorate the house?

By decorate, we mean drilling holes or putting up wallpapers. You’d be surprised to find out how many landlords refuse to let tenants drill holes on the walls.
If you are a fan of wallpapers or have a lot of shelves that need to be hanged, this might be a problem for you.

8. What is included in the rent?

Who will be paying the water and electricity bills? What about the society charges? If any repairs or damages need to be taken care of, who will pay for it?

9. Are guests allowed?

This is a major problem especially if you are a single person renting a house. It’s funny how so many landlords don’t allow you to bring guests over.
If you have a lot of friends or family who might visit often, let your landlord know about it right away. You don’t want them poking their nose in your life once you’ve rented the house, right?

10. Is there a parking space available?

This is a very important if you own a vehicle. If no, where do other around park their vehicles? A lot of housing complexes have dedicated parking spaces. If your landlord hadn’t already bought one, ask if you can rent one. If dedicated parking areas are available, this shouldn’t really be a problem.

Adjusting to life in a new city isn’t easy. But it gets a lot simpler if you find a home and neighbours you like.

When moving to a new city, it is natural to fell disoriented and lonely. To help you deal with this, we’ve put together City Guides for most major cities in India. This will help you get to know the city you are moving to.

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If you found this article useful, do share it with your friends on social media. If you know someone who is moving to a new city and is planning to rent a house, share this and tag them on Facebook. Or simply tweet to them using the hashtag #SmartHomeMoving and @GlovveSHM

Have anything you wish to add to this article? Wish to share your renting-a-home story with us? We’d be delighted to know all about it in the comments section below.

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