Monday, 3 September 2012

How to rent a property?

Ever since I came to the UK I have had one new experience after the other. The time has come for yet another experience; renting. Prior to this I’ve never even moved houses let alone search for a new property. So while the task of renting may seem daunting, it seems exciting as well. Which of the two emotions win will be determined once the task is accomplished. =P So we just started viewings houses. Target town is High Wycombe. Not having any prior experience I asked some people and did some internet research. I ended up making a list (that is too long for my brain to retain) of the things that one MUST take note of while renting and another list (this one is longer obviously) which YOU must take note because every person has their own preferences.  First I present to you the general list:
Budget. Doink!
Are the windows double glazed? (For efficient heating)
Locality. Is it safe?
Do you want to be close to the town centre or do you prefer the countryside? The former might result in a smaller property than the latter.
Will the property be managed by the landlord or by the agent?
 How far is the nearest fuel pump or superstore?
Is the heating gas or electric? (Gas being cheaper but electric is safer)
Has the property ever been burgled before?
Phone and TV connection
How much is the council tax?
Property agent fee and expenses

And after looking at many houses I tailored (read: expanded) the list according to the common issues I found in UK homes and also, my preferences. So here is my seemingly impossible and never-ending list:
No separate taps for hot and cold water. How can you even ask me the reason Mr. Property agent? Can’t you see for yourself how inconvenient it is?
Location: Suburbs works for me. I’d rather have a more spacious property within my budget rather than a smaller one as long as there is a super market nearby since I visit the town centre only once or twice in two weeks.
Is the development well maintained?
Is the approach to the property development nice or is it in a not-so-safe area? Sometimes the development in which your house or flat is in will seem suitable but the approach or surrounding area might not be.
There is no body who could hate dishwashing more than I do. Dishwasher PUH-LEEZ.
How far is the nearest bus stop? Sometimes all the shopping renders my legs unsuitable for walking back home.
Are the carpets clean? (Did I say clean? I meant spotless)
How big is the fridge and freezer? (When the expensive cheese and butter are on offer I like to buy them as much as I can)
How big is the bathroom and kitchen? (Too big would mean some back breaking-ly long scrubbing)
Does the kitchen have an extractor fan? Yes I’ve seen kitchens without them! Asian cooking is unimaginable without them.

Believe it or not, my list of fussy-ness is now complete. Just kidding. Read on:

Are there any storage cupboards or will I have to buy my own?
Is there space for storage cupboards that you can purchase yousrself?
Is there a window in the bathroom? Sometimes the extractor fan just isn’t enough. Not me, *points at husband*
Is there a window in the kitchen? Asian spices are lethal.

Okay now I feel bad for you for having to read all that. Coincidentally, my list has ended too. Somehow new points are added to this list every time we see a flat or house that lacks something very basic. And it surprises me as to how could someone not add such an absolute necessity to their property? For example, mixers tap instead of separate hot and cold taps. Would someone please put an end to my misery and tell me how to use them? Initially I completely dismissed the properties that had separate taps but now I’ve given up since one of the best homes have those. Our search is still ongoing and I hope we can find that perfect home that we will look forward coming back to and that we can enjoy while entertaining friends and family. 

Hope this helps another house hunter apart from proving me as the fussiest one ;)