Whether you’re searching for a rental property to live in or are after a commercial property to lease for your business, knowing what to look out for at the inspection can be the difference between making a poor property decision and securing a sound investment. If you’re currently searching for a rental property for your home or business, here are five areas you’ll want to consider before you sign the lease.

1. Location


We’ve all heard the phrase “location, location, location” when it comes to property. And the fact is, the right location can provide all kinds of benefits in both a residential and commercial scenario - while a bad one can spell disaster for your tenancy experience.


For commercial properties, you’ll want to find a location that aligns with your business needs. For example, if you rely on customers physically visiting your premises, your property’s location will need to be easy to find and access. Meanwhile, other types of businesses may require a location that is close to highways or transport links.


In a residential setting, consider what the location of the property has to offer and - crucially - how this fits in with the type of lifestyle you’re after. Is the property on a quiet street or an area that will be busy at all hours? Does the location offer easy access to the facilities and amenities that are important to you - such as schools, shops, restaurants, public transport etc.? What matters to one tenant will be very different to another, so think about what holds significance in your situation.



2. Cleanliness/General Upkeep


When inspecting a rental property for residential or commercial purposes, it can be all too easy to focus on the ‘bigger picture’ - such as the layout, space, and facilities - and miss the small details such as the cleanliness of the property. However, when you’re renting or leasing, the cleanliness and general upkeep of the property are both important factors.


In many cases - particularly with residential properties - rentals will be leased out in the same condition in which you inspect them, so if there are issues such as mould in the property or weeds in the garden, you may end up taking on these problems. Be on the lookout and ask the agent whether these issues will be addressed before you move in.


For commercial leases, cleanliness and general upkeep are likely to form an important part of how your business presents itself, so you’ll want to be sure that the property you lease sends the right message to customers. This may include finding out about maintenance in the building and identifying any persistent cleanliness or upkeep issues that need to be fixed before you start your lease.



3. Storage


Don’t underestimate the importance of adequate storage, whether in a commercial setting or a residential rental property. Ensuring the property you are considering has good storage options can save you from headaches and costs in the future, so it’s worth doing a check when you inspect the property.


For residential renters, consider the items you own which need storing, e.g. bikes, surfboards, books, clothes etc. When inspecting a property, look around and identify where you would store these either internally or externally. Also think about whether there is enough practical space for things like pantry, linen, and cleaning items.


In a commercial leasing scenario, you’ll want to think about the storage requirements of your business, particularly if you have physical stock. Assess the storage facilities available in the property and consider your needs both now and in the future to ensure you’re prepared for expanding requirements.



4. Security


The level of security a property offers can make a significant impact on the cost of your insurance, as well as providing peace of mind for you as a tenant. During the property inspection, have a look for security features such as window locks, security doors, alarms and other security features.


Prior to the inspection, it may be worth checking your insurance policy to identify which security features would affect your policy, so you can view the property with knowledge of what to look out for.


If you’re looking to lease a commercial property, consider the security requirements of your business and which features are essential. Depending on your needs, you may need to invest in additional security features if the property doesn’t have these already, which will add to your costs.



5. Parking


Parking facilities can vary greatly between properties - and this can have a big impact on both your insurance costs and day-to-day convenience. Whether you’re inspecting a residential or commercial property, finding out about the parking situation is an important consideration as a tenant.


For house or apartment rentals, your property may include a garage or car park space, or only offer street parking (which, depending on the location, may be plentiful or scarce). If you have one or more vehicles, be sure to check the parking arrangements to identify whether they are suitable for you, as well as looking at what options there are for visitor parking.


In a commercial setting, parking may be a critical factor in your property decision, particularly if you have staff or customers driving to your site. You’ll want to make sure there is sufficient parking available for the needs of your business, as well as ensuring it is convenient to access and offers the security you need.



If you’re searching for a property, check out our residential or commercial property reviews and get the inside knowledge to help you make an informed decision.


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