What to ask the landlord or letting agent when viewing private rented home

When you view the home you should ask the landlord or letting agent questions about it and arrangements in relation to its management. Here are some handy hints.

If you are unable to afford the rent out of your personal income and you need to claim Local Housing Allowance to pay the rent, it's important that you ask the landlord or lettings agent whether they accept tenants who receive Local Housing Allowance before you visit. If they don't take tenants who receive Local Housing Allowance you'll be wasting your time visiting.

When you're visiting the home you should ask the landlord or lettings agent the following:

  • How long they intend letting the home for and the length of the tenancy their offering. You can use this opportunity to negotiate for a longer tenancy, if that's what you want, or find out whether they'll renew the tenancy when it expires.
  • How much the rent is, how they want the rent to be paid and on what date. You might want to try to negotiate with the landlord or agent about the rent, particularly if it is more than the amount of Local Housing Allowance you will receive.
  • The landlord must get all gas appliances tested by a Gas Safe Registered Installer at least once a year. Ask to see the Safety Certificates. It is the landlord's or their agent's duty to provide these.
  • Ask to see the properties Energy Performance Certificate, the landlord or agent is obliged to show you this. The Energy Performance Certificate will tell you how energy efficient the property is, which will give you some idea of how much it will cost to heat.
  • Ask whether the landlord is accredited. When you rent a home in the private rented sector there are no guarantees about the standard of the accommodation nor about the quality of the service you receive from a landlord. However, if a landlord is a member of the Landlord Accreditation Wales Scheme you can have confidence that:

    • they are more aware and knowledgeable about key property management issues
    • their properties are more likely to be maintained to a higher standard
    • their tenants health and safety will be safeguarded

    You might want to check whether a landlord is part of the Landlord Accreditation Wales Scheme by checking on Welsh Landlords.

  • How you would get in contact with the landlord or lettings agent to report repairs or other problems.
  • How much the deposit or bond is for the home. If you need assistance to meet the cost of a deposit or bond you should ask whether the landlord or lettings agent is willing to receive a cashless bond. You can find out more about how to get support with paying a deposit or bond here.
  • Which tenancy deposit protection scheme they use. Once you have paid a deposit the landlord/agency must give you details of which scheme it is registered with within 30 days.
  • If they require references and, if so, how many and who from?
  • For a copy of the inventory for the property, if it is let furnished. You may want to consider taking photographs of the property and furniture to record the condition when you move in, as you will be required to return the property to the landlord in the same condition at the end of your tenancy.