It’s important that tenants ask their landlord questions when viewing a property, often, the viewing will only take 10-15 minutes or so, so tenants should make the most of that time. Don’t go into any contract blind; asking the right questions could completely change your perception of the property.
- Are the external doors secure? Is there an entry phone system in place?
- Are there burglar alarms fitted and are they working?
- Has the property ever been burgled or damaged?
- Do windows open freely and lock steadfastly?
- Do the doors have good quality, secure locks?
- Are there any signs of damage or disrepair to the roof or gutters?
- If there’s a garden, what state is it in? Who’s responsible for the upkeep of it?
- Are there signs of damp? Flaking paint?
- Are there any signs of infestations?
- Do any repairs need to be carried out?
- Is any of the furniture damaged?
- Are the taps leaking?
- Do the lights work?
- Do all of the appliances work?
- What’s the area like? What are the neighbours like?
- Is it prone to crime?
- What are the transport links like?
- What are the noise levels like?
- Does the kitchen have a safety blanket and fire extinguisher (required by law)?
- Does the landlord have the gas safety record?
- Are there any carbon monoxide detectors?
- Are there an adequate number of smoke alarms and are they working?
- Is there an adequate and safe fire escape?
Finance & Tenancy
- How much is the rent? When is it due and what’s included in that price?
- How much deposit is required? What are the conditions for the landlord making deductions?
- Which tenancy deposit protection scheme will the deposit be put into?
- What is the term of the tenancy?
- How much notice do you have to give to quit?
- Are there any additional bills/fees you have to pay?
- Remember to ask the letting agent for there fees so you don’t get a nasty shock
Remember that if the landlord makes any promises during the viewing (for example to fix, repair or replace anything in the property) then you must get these promises in writing. It is also important that you make sure that you are there when the inventory takes place and make sure that it is accurate to ensure you aren’t stuck with unfair deduction deposits that you can’t disprove!
For more help and information on landlords and housing visit our housing pages or, alternatively, make an appointment with one of our housing solicitors to find out how we can help.