Viewing a new property may seem like a daunting experience, particularly if you have previously had limited success. There are many questions you could ask, so it is crucial not to forget anything important. We’ve collated our top tips to help you ask the important questions when viewing a property to buy or rent.
1. What is the location like?
Little details, such as where the nearest corner shop is to buy a pint of milk, are important when assessing whether the location of the property is suitable for you. Ask about the safety of the neighbourhood and how good the transport links are.
2. How old is the boiler?
Finding out how old the boiler is can give you a rough idea whether any problems are likely to occur. It is also a good idea to ask when it was last serviced. If the central heating or hot water packs in, boilers can cost serious money to have fixed or replaced.
3. Can you try the taps?
Many people forget to test out the taps when viewing a property. This is important for testing the water pressure and seeing how long it takes to heat up. It will also give you an idea of how good the boiler is.
4. Can you try the doors and windows?
It is also a good idea to check whether the doors and windows are in good working order, especially UPVC windows with locks and other safety features.
5. How much will council tax/other utility bills set you back?
Getting as much information as possible about utility costs will help you work out whether the property is affordable on your budget. It is also useful to know how much the council tax will set you back.
6. Have gas and electric checks been carried out recently?
Make sure the home has been thoroughly inspected. Ask for certificates of proof of gas and electrical inspection.
7. How much storage space is there?
Make sure you have a good look to see if there will be enough space for you to store everything you own. This is particularly important if you’re moving house to start a family – make sure there is enough storage for the extra belongings.
1. What appliances are included?
Ask which appliances are included in the property. Make sure those that are included have been through a PAT (portable appliance testing) inspection and ask to see certificates.
2. Have there been checks for damp and mould?
Check ceilings, windows and walls for any signs of damp or mould. Any discolouring, for example, could indicate a leak. Make sure any issues like this are addressed as soon as possible, as mould can lead to health problems.
3. Are there fire safety procedures in place?
All lettings are legally required to have a fire extinguisher and safety blanket in the property. Check to see if smoke and monoxide alarms are installed and working, too.
4. Are the locks secure?
Safety is paramount and landlords should ensure doors have suitable locks that can be opened easily if there is a fire. Also check any back garden or alley areas to assess the safety of the building.
5. Are there enough electrical points?
Check if there are enough sockets for your needs. Also check where the broadband point is – this is important as Wi-Fi cannot always travel through walls, so a Wi-Fi booster may be required.
6. Can you decorate?
Some landlords are happy for you to alter the rooms. Others may not like it if you stick a nail in the wall. Check with the landlord what changes you can and can’t make to the property.