Thursday, 15 February 2007

Tricky business

The thing is, estate agents really are slippery sorts at times. Which is why a firm hand is needed. The house I am interested in renting was supposedly reserved for me, albeit unofficially, pending paperwork and signatures and all that. So I turn up yesterday (yesterday? or day before...can't remember) and there's a young couple viewing as well.
"Oh they're not really interested," my estate agent breezes. "They're just getting a feel for what's out there, and will be viewing one up the road in a minute, which they are far more interested in."
At which point I politely directed them in the direction of said house up the road, "as I have measuring up to do." Said somewhat pointedly. But fair enough, I felt.
Then I noticed the damp patch on the wall, and a second query about a rotten window frame elicited a somewhat vague response when the estate agent returned from the house up the road, young couple no longer in tow.
I've been reading about The Goldfish's moving horrors and it has got me wondering about who is responsible for what and how when renting. I know my dilemma is not quite up there with her plight, but what rights do prospective tenants have? Is it reasonable to ask for a letter detailing by what date specific repair jobs will be attended to, before handing over your deposit and month's rent? Is it reasonable to ask if the boiler has been serviced and the furniture is fireproof? Or does all this questioning just put a landlady off and make her think "Sod this. I'll wait for the next tenant to come along." Que sera sera I suppose.


The Goldfish said...

There are some obligations of the landlord which are enshrined by law - such as servicing your boiler (which, after all, would be a significant hazard if unserviced). The government website has quite a lot of information here about what bits are whose responsibility. There will be any particuar details outlined in your tenancy agreement.

However, stuff like damp patches? It all depends on how good your landlord is (or the agent if it works like that). A landlord who is on the ball will already know about the damp patch and will be trying to deal with it before you move in. A bad landlord will need more pressure applying to move them into action...

seahorse said...

Thanks. Will check out the link