Don’t be afraid to ask them. A knowledgeable agent or landlord should be able to answer any queries you throw at them. You want to be sure you’re setting up home in the right place, so never back out of putting the question forward, even if you think it’s the smallest of things. When was the last gas safety check carried out? Is the water on a meter or a set monthly bill? Or, the one that’s top of everybody’s list, where’s the nearest pub? Once you’ve found a property you’re happy with and paid the holding deposit that's typically asked for, the agent will take it off the market and it will be nominally ‘yours’ – but you still need to sign the occupation contract before you can move in.
Don’t forget that you’ll need to undergo some form of check to ensure you’re a suitable contract-holder. Just like you want to make sure the property is the right fit for you, the landlord will want to make sure you’re the right fit for the property! Most landlords and agents will ask for a current employer reference, a current or previous landlord reference and a credit check. Students are usually asked for a financial guarantor.