Viewing a property can be exciting. Quite often it’s the most enjoyable part of the whole rental process. It’s very easy to get carried away by the idea of the next property being perfect while neglecting to check the things that really matter. We’ve put together a list of the top considerations to make when viewing a property, so you won’t forget to check something that could come back to haunt you.
Outside the Property
When you first get to your viewing, take a good long look at the outside of the building. Be sure to think about the following points:
- What condition is the outside of the property in? Is there any structural damage that could cause issues further down the line?
- What is the condition of other properties around?
- How secure is the property? Are the locks of a satisfactory quality?
- If you’re viewing a flat, what’s the entry system like?
- Is there a burglar alarm?
- Is there a garden? Who takes responsibility for the upkeep?
- What is the parking like?
Inside the Property
When you’re greeted by the lettings agent, be sure to take the viewing at your own pace. Ask questions, be thorough and don’t be persuaded by the smell of coffee or great interior design. When in doubt, consider the following:
- Are there any signs of damp? Any flaking paint? Any evidence of insect or vermin infestation?
- How effective is the heating? Do all radiators work?
- What is the state of insulation? Any double glazing?
- Can you see any obvious repairs that you would like carried out before you move in? Be sure the landlord puts any promises of repair work in writing for you.
- How much storage space is there? Can you imagine yourself fitting all your belongings into the storage available?
- What comes with the property? Is it furnished, part-furnished or unfurnished? Are the white goods included?
- What state are the kitchen cupboards and work surfaces in?
- Run a tap, check how hot the water is. This will give you an idea of the condition of the boiler and water pressure.
- What are the rules on decoration? Can you redecorate and give the place your own personal touch?
- What is the phone signal like? Do you really want to rent a property where you can’t be contacted whilst at home?
- Where are the electrical points? Can you spot any loose or dangerous wiring?
- Any signs of condensation on the windows? This could be a sign of poor insulation or cracking sealant. Check the sealant in the bathroom too, is it intact?
Take a walk to the shops, keep your eyes open and take in the neighbourhood. Be sure to think about the following:
- What is the neighbourhood like? Would you feel safe walking alone after dark
- Are there amenities in close proximity to the property?
- What transport links are there?
- What is the volume of noise like? Do any train lines run close to the building? Any busy roads nearby? Any late night pubs that could cause a disturbance?
- Are the burglar, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in working order?
- Are all locks, including windows, functioning correctly?
- What does your rental payment cover? Who will take responsibility for bills and council tax?
- How much is the deposit? Where will this deposit be kept?
No matter how much you want a property to be perfect, listen to your gut. If the property isn’t right, then it simply isn’t for you. Don’t force it and never run into a decision like this without full consideration and thought. Once you’ve found your dream rental and approach the moving in process, be sure to carry out a full inventory. Whether you’re a tenant, landlord or lettings agent, take the stress out of the inventory process with No Letting Go. Find out more about our award winning services here.
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