If you are a bachelor looking for a flat and have *somehow* crossed the initial stages of 'hum bachelors ko flat nahi dete', and *somehow* found some flat options, then first off, share your secrets? And second off, try to look for the following things in the flat before you go ahead with it.
Considering you have already accounted for the basics like budget, distance from your workplace, water supply, etc, here are some other important things to look for while renting a flat.
1. Try to find a furnished flat
This might kill your Wake Up Sid dreams but finding a furnished flat is preferable especially when you're uncertain about how long you'll be staying at a place. It eliminates the hassle of shifting a lot of stuff at the time of moving out and is simply convenient.
2. Discuss what is included in the rent and what's not
When you have found a place which is as per your liking, the next step is discussing what is included in the rent and what's not. Also, discuss who would be bearing what charges. For example, if there are some repairs to be done in the house, who is going to pay for it, you or the landlord? Having these discussions beforehand reduces problems later on.
3. Check all the appliances at the time of moving-in
At the time of move-in, inspect all the appliances and everything else provided by the landlord very carefully. Inform them about damages, if any. If possible click the pictures of everything so that you have proof that you haven't broken anything, and won't have to let go of your deposit at the time of moving out.
4. Check for network coverage inside the house
This is the most important thing, in my opinion, especially with the whole work-from-home situation going on. You must check whether you're getting good network coverage when you are visiting the house for the first time itself to avoid problems later on.
5. Ask the landlord for a clean and freshly painted apartment
If a property is vacant for a long time, chances are it will require cleaning and maintenance. Since you are expected to give back a clean, undamaged apartment, ask the landlord to get the flat whitewashed and cleaned before you move in.
6. Discuss whether you can put stuff on the wall or make changes in the house
You should discuss beforehand whether you are allowed to make any changes to the house or not. Some landlords are very specific about not drilling holes in the wall or making any changes whatsoever. So, if you are a home decor enthusiast, it's better to clear these things beforehand.
7. Ask how often do they visit to 'inspect' the property
If you have ever gotten a nosy landlord, you know the nuisance they bring with them. Some landlords drop by unannounced to check on your wellbeing when, in reality, they are just there to inspect the house. You should convey beforehand that you are not comfortable with such behaviour and would want minimal interference.
8. If taking a highrise, ask if you are allowed to access the society's clubs
Some highrises have a policy of not allowing tenants to use the society's facilities like gym, club, common areas, etc. These are only reserved for the landlords at some places. So, if you are taking a flat for all the amenities the society provides, it's better to ask if you'll even get to access them.
9. Get pest control done before you move in
Before you move in, get pest control done for the entire apartment. You don't want any roaches, ants, lizards or rats as your flatmates, do you? Better safe to be scared. :P
10. See if you can talk to the previous tenant
The amount of information you can get about your prospective home from a previous tenant is unmatched. Not only you'll get to know about the first-hand experience of living in that place but also every good and bad thing about your prospective landlord. I know it's not possible for everyone, but if you get the chance, take it.