What to look for on viewings
Viewings are the opportunity to clarify the detail of what you would be renting if you took the property so it’s important to ask questions. Here a few things to consider:
- Properties do not generally change and you should be looking to let the property in an ‘as is’ condition.
- If the property is occupied and being let furnished, you need to be clear what is included within the tenancy and what is not, as the contents may actually belong to the occupier. Having a copy of the current inventory will help you be clear as to what is there.
- If items are to be replaced between tenancies, you should clarify the quality and condition of the new items to ensure you are not being sold short.
- If the current tenant is at home when you view the property, they may be able to give you an insight into what works well at the property (and what does not!). It’s also worth knowing how long they have lived there; if they have lived there a long time, the chances are that they are well looked after by their landlord and agent.
- Find out what’s behind any locked doors.
- Who is going to be managing the property? Are they a full-time property manager or do they do things in their spare time?
- Repairs – if there are obvious repairs that need to be done, check if they are scheduled and if not, include them as requirements to be done as part of your tenancy offer. It is important to be realistic about the time frame for any repairs and trying to coordinate your move-in date so that you don’t end up moving into a building site.
- If you are viewing through an agent and they have an interest in the property (they may be the landlord, related to or be business partners of the landlord), they are required to notify you in advance so that there is no conflict of interests.
- If you view a property more than once, try and do the second viewing at a different time of day. This will give you a better sense of the immediate neighbourhood and what your neighbours are like.
- If there are gardens or terraces, double check who is entitled to use them and who is responsible for maintaining them. Whilst a communal garden may seem less attractive initially, the building owner may maintain it for you.
- Many buildings will be restricted as to what media can or cannot be installed (satellite TV for example). Check what arrangements are available and who the current provider is.