Viewing Advice – what to look out for and what questions to ask

Wow, it’s fantastic, I’ll take it!

When you walk into a property for the first time it’s easy to carried away, especially if you’ve had a long day of viewings searching for ‘the one’.

However perfect you think a particular house or flat would be for you, when you look at a rental property it’s important to take more than a cursory glance around and admire the amount of space, flooring or colour scheme.

Don’t get us wrong, finding somewhere that you instantly want to move into is fantastic. We just thought a few well aimed practical pointers might help you to ask the right questions and make the right decision. Here's why....

Where and how

So you’ve found somewhere that looks great and is affordable? Excellent – now it’s time to really consider if it will work for you.

If you’re a very neat person then has it got plenty of fitted storage? If you’re someone that works from home does the layout give you a chance to have a dedicated desk area or room? Or if you’ve got a family is that sleek contemporary interior really child friendly?

These are all practical things that need to be considered.

Should you compromise?

If you’re struggling to find somewhere that ticks all the boxes maybe it’s time to compromise on some of the finer details.
Location can obviously play a big part in the lifestyle a property offers. But if the only reason you’ve decided to not view somewhere is because it’s too far from your favourite cafe maybe it’s time to ask what’s really important to you.
Would you rather have the perfect cappuccino or craft beer just moments from your front door or the perfect property just a little further away? A walk to the pub or coffee shop could put a healthier spin on things!

If you have kids then catchment areas and school runs obviously come into the equation. So living in a sought after area that’s ideal for everyday family life and is known for its glowing Ofsted reports might mean renting somewhere that has a smaller garden. It's a perfect example of a good comprise.

Basic Essentials

On the flip side to compromising is of course working out what factors a property has to have. What are the vital elements that can make or break your quality of life and happiness?

The layout of a flat or house can make a big difference to how you live. If it’s space that you’re longing for sometimes the smallest of flats can feel so much bigger with an open plan design. However, individual rooms can give you a bit of delineation between family time and work life.

Little things can make all the difference. It might sound strange but ask yourself if you’re a bath or shower person – if the property you’re looking at has both then great, but if not is it the right one for you?

Kitchens in rental properties come in all shapes and sizes, some with fitted appliances and some with space for you to add your own. If you already have appliances to bring from your current property then make sure they’ll fit into the space, and if you need to buy them remember to factor the added cost into your budget.

Storage and privacy

In many people’s book there’s no such thing as too much storage. Whether it’s for your book or vinyl collection, bike, or boxes of children’s toys if the property doesn’t have fitted storage is there room for you to add your own and will the landlord be happy if you put up shelves?
Empty unfurnished rooms can feel spacious so ask your lettings agent for a floor plan so that you can get an accurate idea of how the space will work for you.
Getting to know your neighbours will always make somewhere feel like home, but sometimes after a long day at work all you want to do is get inside and shut the door. So if you cherish your privacy check how many other properties share a communal entrance or look out for details that state somewhere has its own private street entrance.

Outdoor space

Gardens or balconies are of course perfect for hot summer days. Big or small, landscaped or rustic, the one thing that they all have in common is that at some point or other (usually when the temperature drops) they’ll need maintaining.

Flowerbeds require weeding and watering, lawns need cutting, patios swept and balconies painting – if all you want to do is step outside and relax it’s important to check who is responsible to do the work and if you’ll be expected to contribute to any costs.

Primed and ready to go

Hopefully by now you’ll be armed with all the information you need to ask the right questions to your lettings agent or prospective landlord.

Our team are always on hand to give you all the help and advice you need and you can search for our available rental properties on our website. Better still, get in touch, ask us some questions and let us be your property partner for life!