House viewing checklist - 15 questions to ask on your viewing
Finding your perfect rental place takes a lot of effort and meticulous searching. You have already checked out the area you want to live in, and you are ready to start viewing properties. It's an exciting new step.
Great rental properties are in high demand in big cities, but this doesn't mean you have to make a hasty decision or let all the hard work you put into searching go to waste. Be prepared to ask all the questions that matter during your viewing to be comfortable to make a decision and move ahead in a short amount of time.
After all, this will be your home for quite a while, and you need to make sure you will be happy there. Below we break down 15 easy-to-remember questions for all the things that matter in a rental property.
Which furnishings are included?
Each property comes with its own furniture package to accommodate renters. If you opt for a furnished property, you will certainly have the basics covered. Think sofa and coffee table, table and chairs, bed and wardrobes, however don't give it for granted to avoid bad surprises when you move in.
Décor, can you re-decorate?
There are limitations to the changes you can make to rental properties. Anything that would be considered a permanent change, such as painting the walls, will not be permitted, but it is a case by case scenario.
Landlords may be open to you re-decorating certain rooms to your taste if you state this on your offer (longer contract lengths usually have a greater chance for these requests to be accepted). Many apartments are available with flexible options as long as the property is returned to its original state when you move out, i.e., matching the initial inventory report.
Who is responsible for repairs and maintenance?
Every property is different; in many cases, the landlord is responsible for property maintenance, while sometimes, it's a dedicated management agency. We will make sure you know who is in charge of repairs, when, and how you can contact them.
Check the fixtures and fittings
While you are going through the property, make sure everything works. Don't hesitate to flip on and off and light switches, open the window and let the tap run. Find out how the heating and hot water systems operate, how you can turn off gas or water in an emergency, and ask to see instructions for electrical appliances.
What storage is available?
If you have a lot of possessions, you might need to consider the storage space available. Some properties have utility rooms that are large enough to store more items. There might also be extra storage space, such as storage cupboards or outdoor sheds. Make sure you know where these are and how they can be accessed.
What's the internet like?
From working from home to our favourite shows, a stable internet connection is a must in every property search. Check out this broadband checker for any UK address and don’t neglect to check your mobile reception as well.
Outdoors space & communal areas
Is there a garden or terrace?
Outdoor space has become one of the most important factors for many renters. Enquire about access, whether it's a shared space or not, and also who is responsible for maintenance.
Who takes care of communal areas?
If you share a garden, ask who is responsible for the upkeeping. The same goes for any communal areas such as the entrance hall or stairwells.
Parking & bicycle storage, what is available?
Typically, off-street parking for residents is available in most neighbourhoods. Fees and charges are payable to the local council, and this is the best place to check for the most up-to-date information on restrictions.
Many areas also provide bike hangars for residents that request them; you can apply for one at your local council.
Most modern developments have already taken both into account, secure parking for your car or bicycle could be available within the development.
What is included?
The most common bills are electric, water, gas, and broadband. While tenants are responsible for paying all utility bills, on some occasions, landlords include them in the rent. Interested in paying one unique bill? Find out some of our popular bills-inclusive properties here.
What is the council tax band?
Council tax is another regular bill, payable to the local council. You can find out the property's band online using the postcode or ask a member of our team. Many new developments in redeveloping areas don't have a confirmed council tax, make sure to ask what the range looks like.
How long is the contract?
You can enquire about contract length and terms while at the viewing. The most common type of tenancy is the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement (AST) for a duration of 12 months. Something to keep in mind are break clauses that allow landlords and renters to break the contract at pre-agreed dates. If you aren't sure about committing long term, make sure to ask if the landlord would accept one.
How about the neighbours?
Agents can give you a lot of information about the property, but not as much about the neighbours. If the current renter is in the property, you can ask them directly for their insights and what has worked well for them (and what hasn't).
Are any works due on the property?
Make sure you find out if any improvements or maintenance works are scheduled before you move in or planned throughout the tenancy. These works could be happening in a neighbour's apartment, to the building or as regeneration of the public street.
Can you view the property more than once?
Yes! You can always request a second viewing. If you would like to have a second look at the property, try to arrange your viewing at a different time of the day. It's a great way to get a better feel of the area.
Download your own house viewing checklist and keep a copy with you during the viewing.
Here at Home Made, we make sure all our properties are in the best condition and ready for your desired move-in date. Our Sales Associates will be ready to answer any questions you might have before and during the viewing, and guide you throughout your home search process. To make it even easier, you can reach them with any additional queries through your favourite communication method: WhatsApp, Messenger, email or a phone call.