Questions to Ask When Viewing A Property
Author: Rent Guarantor
Going to view a property is always an exciting time for any prospective Tenant. It can be tempting to view the property with rose tinted glasses and not appear difficult to the Estate Agent or Landlord. However, you should never be afraid to ask any questions. Even if you believe the questions you wish to ask would only be relevant in a worst-case scenario situation it is definitely worth having the information moving forward. The devil is in the details after all!
Here are a few ideas of questions you should ask when viewing a property:
Who’s Responsible for What?
Irrelevant of whether you are moving into a property which will be solely occupied by yourself or a house share that you will share with others you will still need to know who is responsible for what in the property. For those who will be sharing it is important to know who is responsible for what to then have the correct information for handling any future conversations or disputes.
This is also the same for being a sole tenant of a property and having any outdoor space. This means you will need to check with your Landlord/Estate Agent as to whether you are responsible for the upkeep of the gardens, window cleaning and for the maintenance of any outside storage spaces.
Emergency, Maintenance & Admin Procedures
This may seem a bit drastic to ask at a viewing for some people. However, it can be helpful to know that your Landlord/Agent is prepared and has planned ahead for a worst-case scenario. This can include asking for their procedure regarding any emergency, requested or preventative maintenance. You could even use this time to ask about the Landlord/Agents requirements to live in the property. When rent will need to be paid, the amount of funds that will be needed upfront or if you need a Guarantor.
This is especially important if you are wishing to use a Guarantor company such as Rent Guarantor. They are happy to work with anyone, however, you will always need to check with your specific Landlord/Estate Agent as to whether they will accept a company compared to the usual individual friend/family member.
It is also extremely important whilst on a viewing to clarify what is included as part of the tenancy with the property. Everyone should know what they’re getting for their money. This is even more important if the property is currently occupied so you would be even more unsure as to which furnishings/appliances come with the property.
This will also be the time to ask whether any non-physical extras are included in the tenancy, such as Wi-Fi, the TV licence and any utility bills. This is more likely in a house share but is still worth asking if you will be renting a property to live in alone so is definitely worth the question. If you own a vehicle also make sure to ask if any parking is included within the property and if not what your options would be if there is permitted/pay and display car parks in the area.
Can I Decorate?
This could be a deal breaker for any tenant with a creative flare. Even if the property already appears to have been decorated by a previous tenant you should never assume that you can do the same. You should always ensure that you ask the Landlord/Estate for their rules regarding decoration. If you do have any plans you should always ask permission before starting any decorative work you wish to do to the property. If not, you may wish losing part of your deposit when you leave the property if the décor can’t be undone. Take a look at our previous blog for a how to guide for getting permission from your Landlord to make changes to a rented house.
Last but not least something that isn’t directly linked to the property but is something that a Landlord/Estate Agent may be able to answer for you. If you’re new to the area then it’s reasonable that you would want to ask how the transport links are within the area and the distance to the closest amenities. A Landlord/Estate Agent should want to make you feel as comfortable as possible on a viewing in order to give them a better chance to sell the property to you so you shouldn’t be afraid to tap into their local knowledge.
Overall, a viewing is an important opportunity to get all the information you need if you are interested in a potential property. Of course, no one wants to come across difficult or an over the top. However, remember that as the potential tenant you are in the driving seat. A Landlord/Agent should make you feel comfortable and welcome any questions you have, whether that be about the actual property or the surrounding area. Better to ask now before you move in and realise things aren’t the way you assumed them to be!
Disclaimer: Rent Guarantor is not qualified to give legal or financial advice. Any information shared in the above blog is an opinion based on personal experiences within the property rental sector, and should never be construed as legal or professional advice.