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An essential guide to viewing a rental property

Published: 06/11/2021

When viewing a property for rent, it's easy to get carried away by imagining where you'll put your favourite armchair, already moving in your mind's eye, neglecting to check out the essential things that could come back to haunt you…

Below is our checklist to help you decide whether you should or shouldn't rent a property:

  • What condition is the outside of the property? 
  • Are the locks of satisfactory quality, and do they meet insurance standards; some policies insist that front and back doors are fitted with a five-lever mortice deadlock.
  • If viewing a flat, what's the entry system? 
  • Is there a burglar alarm?
  • How effective is the heating, and do all the radiators work?
  • Is there double glazing?
  • Are there any apparent repairs you would like carried out before moving in? And if so, be sure the landlord puts any promises of repair work in writing to you.
  • Can you imagine fitting all your belongings into the storage space?
  • Is it furnished, part-furnished, or unfurnished?
  • Are the white goods included, and do they work?
  • What state are the kitchen cupboards and work surfaces in? Imagine preparing a meal to see if the kitchen is big enough.
  • Run a tap to check how hot the water is, which will give you an idea of the condition of the boiler and the water pressure. 
  • Flush the toilets.
  • Check the phone signal to see if it's not a mobile dead zone.
  • Are there any signs of condensation on the windows, which can indicate poor insulation or cracking sealant?
  • Check the sealant in the bathroom too. Is it intact?
  • Take a compass to check if the promises of a sunny south-facing garden or balcony are true.
  • What amenities are close by?
  • What transport links are there?
  • Do any train lines run close to the building? 
  • Are there any busy roads nearby? 
  • Late-night pubs?
  • Are the burglar, smoke, and carbon monoxide alarms in working order?
As you can see, the list is endless! However, no matter how much you want a property, our advice is to follow your gut instincts, not your heart.

If you're looking for a property to rent in SE1, EC2 or the surrounding areas of London, please get in touch with our fantastic London lettings agents on 020 3137 7877.  We are not restricted by geographical boundaries.