If you’re looking for a rental home, viewing potential properties is a key part of the house hunting game. Here is how to make sure a property you’re viewing is really worth your hard-earned money. 

Looking around a property which could become your new rental home is really exciting, but if you fail to use your house viewing time effectively to spot issues, you could miss something which could end up costing you big in the long term. 

Here are our essential tips which will help you see beyond the sales pitch at the viewing, and help you have a successful property viewing. 


Leave your emotions at the door

Walking through the front door and immediately imagining yourself living in the rental property can be a great sign. However, it could lead to you viewing the house through rose-tinted glasses and gloss over some glaring problems.

Even if you think that the property is the one for you, it’s always highly recommended that you view the of the property with a critical eye. Read on to find out about what you need to look out for at a house viewing. 


Search for dampness

Spotting damp, mould and condensation is a cause for concern in rental properties. Whilst it’s not the be-all and end-all, it may illustrate a much greater problem.

Signs of damp you should look out for:

  • Peeling, damp or water-stained wallpaper
  • Bubbling or blistering paint on the walls and ceiling
  • Mould or mildew in the walls, carpet, furniture and other soft furnishings
  • You may also notice that the house smells musty or damp

If you suspect that the property you are viewing suffers from dampness, it may not be a complete deal breaker, but you should definitely raise any issues with the agent or landlord so it can be investigated further. 

 

Check the exterior of the property

You may get a little caught up imagining how you will set-up your new home, but it’s really important that you take your time to check out the condition of the exterior of the property.  You should look out for signs of damage or wear to the brickwork, roof tiles, gutters and downpipes, and windows. If you spot any issues with the exterior of the property, you should start asking questions. 

Don’t forget! It’s the landlord’s responsibility for the repair and maintenance of your property’s structure, defined in the Landlord and Tenant act from 1985 and the Housing Act 2004


What else should you think about?

Find out about council tax 

It’s important to know how much council tax you’re due to pay as the cost varies across the whole of the UK. Nearly all property types fall under different council tax valuation bands, and each local authority will charge a monthly fee for properties in each banding.

Whilst at the viewing, you should ask how much the council tax is going to cost you as in most cases you will be required to pay for it on top of the monthly rent. If the letting agent or landlord is unsure of how much the council tax costs, you can always find out yourself online by visiting the Government site


Furnished vs unfurnished property

What you see may not necessarily mean what you get, so you when viewing a rental property, you must find out whether the property will be rented furnished or unfurnished. 

Furnished property

A furnished property should include everything to live comfortably, including all of the main appliances such as a cooker, fridge/freezer and washing machine. You can also expect to have all of the major items of furniture including sofas, beds, wardrobes, dining table and soft furnishings too. 

Unfurnished property

Exactly what is included as part of your rental agreement will vary, but as a general rule, an unfurnished property is limited to fixtures and appliances such as a fridge, cooker, basic floor and window coverings, and basic kitchen and bathroom fixtures. 


Which amenities are nearby?

You may have found the perfect rental property, but if the local amenities don’t suit your needs, then it may be of no use to you. Do your research on the local area so you have an idea of what to expect, and make sure you find out about transport links, shops, schools, gyms and parks nearby. 


And finally…

When carrying out a property viewing, it’s really important to be thorough. Be aware that you could be living in the property for months or even years, so you shouldn’t leave any detail to chance. 

The list we’ve outlined above is not exhaustive. There are still plenty of other things to think about, but hopefully, our secrets to a successful property viewing should help you get well on your way to securing a fantastic rental property. If you would like to find out more about what to look out for, you should check out our property viewing checklist