Trying to find a new rental property can be a wild and wonderful experience. The wildest part is that you can view two houses that have the same amenities and are equally as nice but are hugely different in price. This seems crazy, but it’s all down to the area. It’s really important to understand the area you’re moving into, and there are two very important questions to ask: what do you need nearby, and what’s the neighbourhood like?
- If you can’t drive, or have children that will need to get around, it’s worth checking out the public transport routes around you. If you’re looking for a place in the city this should be no problem, but if you’re looking to move somewhere more rural then you might have more trouble. As long as you’ve got a bus or train route from nearby the house to somewhere a bit more connected, you’ll be fine.
- It’s also good to check where your nearest doctor’s surgery or dentist’s office. Knowing where these are before you move can save you a lot of hassle. You can even sign up before you move in, after you’ve sorted all the paperwork for your new place.
- Even if you don’t have children, it’s worth planning for the future. If you think you’ll want to be in an area for the foreseeable future and you think you might want a family of little ones some day, then making sure that you’re moving somewhere close to good schools is a must.
- If you’d rather have dogs and cats forever, that’s cool, but make sure that your landlord will allow you to have them and also you have a nice garden for them to run around in, especially if you’re not in the countryside or close to any parks.
- It can make your life a lot easier to be close to some shops, whether it’s a corner shop you can pop into in your slippers or a super store.
On the flipside, there are a lot of things you might not want to live too close to. If you’re right by a nightclub or bar or if there’s a high concentration of students, you might have more than a few sleepless nights.
What are the neighbours like?
- If your neighbours are noisy or rude it can make the atmosphere of your new home feel icy. When you go to view some rental properties, ask the current tenant or the person showing you around what the neighbourhood is like. Whilst you can’t win them all, a few friendly faces goes a long way.
- It’s worth asking if there’s any major building work planned in the area, as this is not only noisy but can totally change the environment you’re living in.
- Whilst it’s not very cheerful to think about, it’s definitely important to check out crime statistics in the area you’re looking at before you commit to a place. For one thing, if you live in an area with a moderate or high level of vehicle crime or theft, it’ll drive up car and contents insurance premiums.
Most importantly though, you need to feel safe in your home, and whilst the years of leaving your doors unlocked and windows wide open are long past, you should be able to feel secure and not threatened.
Check out the crime stats and other information about your prospective area with this handy local area tool from CIA Landlord Insurance.
Remember that your home isn’t just the building you live in, it’s also the neighbourhood your home is in, so it’s important to make sure you’ll feel happy and comfortable there. Happy renting!