1) Scout the Location
Is your future home near a pub where patrons smoke outside? Or a hospital with ambulances during all hours of the day? The area and immediate surroundings of the rental will have a lasting effect on your overall happiness of the home. Do your research. Visit the home during daylight AND at night. Walk around the neighborhood a bit before signing on the dotted line.
2) Water & Air Quality
Try the tap water. The taste and quality is an important consideration when a well is the main source of drinking water.It will be used for your coffee, boiling pasta, etc. Along those same lines, molds and chemical contaminants such as heavy pesticide use or smoke from neighbouring units can be a significant problem for tenants with allergies. If it smells musty or earthy, you may be better off in another location.
3) Electrical Plugs
Any more, our lives are dependent upon electronic gadgets. The more people in the house, the more sockets you need to keep everything charged, on and working. Rule of thumb, every wall should have at least one outlet. The ones in the kitchen and bathrooms should be GFI.
4) Can You Paint? (Make Changes?)
Many people assume this is okay, but this is rarely the case. More often than not, landlords will allow you to add a coat as long as the original color is restored prior to the end of your lease. This may sound like a “yes” but it is tricky to paint over “Lovely Lavender” to get it back to “Boring Beige.”
5) Take Your Time
Whether it is your own situation or pressure from the home owner, many people have been rushed into laying down the deposit for a home that doesn’t really fit their needs. Visit the house more than once. Don’t get swept up into the moment. This is where you will live.
In short, hunting for a rental house is an important process. Don’t rush it and take the time to check the little things. They are usually the big things that drive you crazy down the road.