Step 4 – What to look for on viewings
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When you have decided on properties that you like, you or your agent can arrange a viewing of the property.
Make the most of this opportunity by:
Checking how well the property has been maintained – look at gutters, windows, roofs
Noting how much storage space there is
Checking to see how the place is heated and how well insulated it looks – this will affect your bills
Asking to see the gas safety certificate and operating instructions for electrical items. Are there enough sockets for your needs?
Finding out which furnishings will be in the property when you move in. Does it meet the fire safety regulations?
Running the taps, bath and shower, and flushing the toilet. Do they all work? Ask to be shown that the heating and hot water works – and that windows open
Asking yourself how secure it feels? Is there access from rear gardens and alleys? What are the locks like – many insurers require five lever mortise locks on all entry doors and window locks
For flats, asking if you have your own secure post box. How clean are common areas – how often are they cleaned and by whom? How are any common grounds maintained? If there is a vehicle space, what’s parked in it now – if there is a rust heap, ask when it will be cleared
Finding out how close the transport links are – is it an easy commute to work or university and how close are other amenities, shops, etc?
Visiting at different times to establish how safe/quiet the area is
Asking if road works are planned or new houses are going up nearby – this will add to noise
Talking to existing tenants (if they are still there) and neighbours. Ask them what it’s like to live there.
Ask tenants what the landlord is like
If the landlord will be looking after the management, asking if you can meet him.
OTHER THINGS YOU MAY NEED TO CONSIDER:
What the schools are like – essential if you have kids
Do they allow pets?
Is smoking permitted in the property?
When is it available from – and for how long?