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Viewing a property checklist

Running through this checklist will give you a reasonably thorough survey of any house you are thinking of renting:

Heating and cooking:

  • is the heating in the house adequate (imagine whether it will be adequate in the middle of winter)?
  • do the electric/gas fires work?
  • does the cooker work?
  • if the cooker is a gas cooker, does the thermostat work?
  • have you had your gas and electricity meters read immediately after you have taken responsibility for the property?
  • have you asked to see a copy of the annual Gas Safe safety certificate for the gas appliances?

Plumbing:

  • does the plumbing work?
  • have you tried all the taps?
  • do the sinks drain?
  • does the toilet flush or leak?
  • is there any hot water and how do you pay for it?

Security:

  • is the house secure?

Furniture:

  • has the house got enough furniture for the occupants?
  • is there sufficient space in the kitchen to store food stuffs and prepare food?
  • is any of the existing furniture the property of existing tenants?
  • is all the furniture in good condition?
  • is the furniture fire retardant?

Services:

  • what services is the owner providing for you, if any? Window cleaning, gardening, lighting of common parts, dustbin and refuse disposal?

Money:

  • what are you paying for in your rent?
  • how does it compare to other rents?
  • have you paid a deposit? If so what is it for?
  • have you got a receipt for what you have paid?
  • are you or the owner responsible for water charges?
  • how much will heating the house cost?

Agreements:

  • do you know what your contract means?
  • have you talked to the previous occupants of the house and asked them if they have any comments that would help you?
  • have you been given a copy of the contract you have signed?
  • are you jointly liable with the other tenants?

Owner:

  • do you know your owner’s name and address?

Outside property:

  • does the roof look sound? (you can check for damp from the inside of the house too).
  • have the gutters got plants growing out of them?
  • are the drains clear?
  • is any of the woodwork rotting or unsafe?

Cleaning:

  • was the house clean? if not, have you informed the owner, in writing, what the condition was?
  • are there any signs of pests (mouse droppings, slug trails, fleas) in the house?

Safety:

  • in the event of fire in the main access passageways of the house, could you get out of the house?
  • are mains wired smoke detectors and fire alarms fitted?
  • does the house have any fire doors?

Repairs:

  • do any repairs need doing? if so, have you informed the owner, in writing, what needs doing?
  • does any decorating need doing?