Choosing a property for rental can be a very exciting time but it is important to make sure that the property you decide on meets your requirements. When looking at property advertising it is easy to get carried away with beautiful baths and wooden floors. However, it is more important to check that there is a boiler to produce hot water to fill
the bath and heat the radiators.
This guide aims to supply you with some hints and tips to make sure the property you choose is as close to perfect as possible.
This guide assumes that you are renting a property in England, the advice may be less relevant for other places.
Before the Viewing
To get the most out of a viewing, check important details before you turn up at the property. Draw up a list of important qualities you need your home to have. These qualities may include the ideal property location, number of and size of bedrooms, parking arrangements, garden, shower or bath and many more. If you are renting with a group of people arrange a time to sit down together before the viewing and list key features. If you don't like ground floor bathrooms, call the landlord or agent's office and make sure the bathroom is on the first floor. If you need double bedrooms, ask for room dimensions. When you are on the phone ask all the questions you want answers to. A tenancy can be a long time to spend living in a property which is not a good fit. Draw up a shortlist of a few properties you feel are the most suitable for you. If you can walk or drive past the property before the viewing you may save yourself some time.
Look at the neighbouring properties and how well maintained they are. This is especially important if the properties are terraced or semi-detached. As a tenant you will not be responsible for the cost of any repairs however if a leak from the neighbour’s roof comes into your property you will be affected by it.
If the property has on street parking and you have a car, check the parking availability during the evening when people are back home or over the weekend. If the property is on a road with permit parking, check that you are eligible for a permit. When houses are split into flats the planning permission can stipulate conditions relating to parking. Not every property in a permit parking zone is automatically entitled to a permit. You should also check on the cost of the permits.
At the Viewing
When you arrive at the property have a good look at the internal structure of the house. Check the condition of the windows and doors. Make sure the locks on both will comply with any insurance policies you have. If not ask if the landlord will change the locks. If the property is empty you will be able to see more of items such as carpets and work services. Make the most of this opportunity. If the property is still being lived in you will
have to ‘see through’ the furniture and items present. Smell the property. Hopefully the property it will smell clean but if it smells of damp then
there is damp somewhere. Walls with mould can be repainted very easily but the smell lingers on so take a deep breath. If the tenant isn’t very clean then the property can end up smelling of old socks and dirty laundry. This smell should go with the tenant. If it is
still present when you move in you can sprinkle the carpet with bicarbonate of soda. Leave for a while, preferably overnight and then hoover up in the morning.
Whilst you are in the property try out the facilities. You won't be the first person to switch the shower on to test the water pressure, just keep your clothes on. Open the windows to check the traffic noise. If your dog is going to live with you, bring them along so you can check whether they can go both up and down the stairs. If you walk into the property
and it isn’t right tell the agent or landlord. They may have other properties which are more suitable to your requirements. Take your list to every viewing and mark every property against the individual items on
it. Try to look for the problems with the property such as damp marks on the walls, leak stains on the ceiling or mould around the windows. Check the EPC rating, this will show you how energy efficient the property is. If you are paying the gas and electricity bills on a budget this is important.
If the property is furnished make sure you are happy with the condition of the furniture as well as the condition of the property. If they are supplied with the property have a good look at any white goods, such as the cooker, washing machine and fridge. Look in the fridge and check that the drawers and shelves are intact. Does the washing machine look fairly modern? Can you see the controls on the cooker? These can get wiped away with enthusiastic cleaning and can make gauging temperature a problem. If the property is not furnished, check that you can get your furniture into the property, especially beds and wardrobes up the stairs.
If someone who is renting the property is not able to make the viewing ask if you can take photographs or video the property to show them later. Alternatively, you can also use video calling to show them the property whilst you are there.
Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm
Saturday 10 am to 1 pm.
Sunday and Bank Holidays Closed
Viewings available outside these times by arrangement.
Visitors are always welcome during office hours. We may even pop the kettle on.
At odd times we have to close the office without warning so please call ahead to ensure we are in.
138 Colman Road, Norwich NR4 7AA.
Norwich 01603 627107
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