Guidance when viewing a property.
Once you have read through our information on our ‘looking to rent’ page and found a property or properties that you are interested in then you will need to view it.
Contact the landlord or letting agent as soon as possible as most private rented to arrange a viewing as often private rented properties are not empty for long.
When viewing you should consider the following:
Make sure you are making a good one! Be punctual and well presented; you may not be the only person viewing the property. Private landlords have every right to refuse you as a tenant so consider your attitude when viewing and be polite.
Do not feel you cannot ask genuine questions about the property and if your questions are not well received then this could be a warning sign as there are certain things that all private rented properties should have and information that the landlord should be able to give you. Again this information can be found on our ‘looking to rent’ pages or in the information below.
We also have a property checklist that you can download and take to property viewings with you.
The landlord may also ask to visit you in your current home, so you should make sure that you have made it presentable and clean so the landlord can have confidence in how you will treat their property.
Take someone with you as two pairs of eyes can be better than one and they notice things or think of questions that you haven't, however, make sure this person is not speaking for you as the landlord needs to know they are able to communicate well with you as their tenant.
What to Look For
Please download our Property Checklist for things to look out for when viewing a property and also consider all of the information below.
Cosmetic problems such as carpets or decoration can easily be rectified so negotiate with the landlord and see what changes can be made, though it is a good idea to get this agreed in writing before taking out your tenancy.
Be aware that you will need confirmation in writing if the landlord gives you permission to can decorate otherwise they can charge you out of your deposit when you leave the property.
It is also a good idea to take photographs of the property when you move in and again when you move out in case there is any claims against getting your deposit back.
Familiarise yourself with local area if you do not already know it. Where is the nearest shop, transport links, doctors/dentist, schools? Etc and also consider any religious or cultural needs such as places of worship, community centres or specialist food outlets.
It is also a good idea to visit at different times so you get a feel for the area during the day and night.
Always ensure you ask to see a copy of the following:
- Gas Safety Certificate (GSC)- completed yearly
- Energy Efficiency Certificate (EPC) and
- Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) usually tested at least every 5 years
The landlord by law should have a GSC and EPC before renting a property out. It is not a legal requirement for them to have an EICR for all properties but it is good practice and shows that they are making sure that the electrics in the property are safe.
There is also a legal requirement that the EPC rating for a property being rented should be 38 and above. Anything below 38 could mean.
This is the time to check what furniture has been provided and talk to the landlord about whether they would be willing to remove anything you don't need or want. Also ensure you check if any white goods are provided (washing machine, cooker, fridge/freezer etc) so you can be prepared before you move in for to have to purchase or rent your own. If a washing machine is not provided then yoou could also check to see if there is a launderette in the local area.
Establish who is responsible for the garden. You may have green fingers but you must make sure the landlord is ok with you managing the garden, and do not make any major changes without getting written confirmation first.
If you are concerned about the conduct of a landlord please visit our [‘pages on reporting an issue’ Link number 9] to learn how to report concerns.
If you are concerned about the service you have received from a lettings agent you can find further information at https://www.theprs.co.uk/Home/Index
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