Why should you follow a house viewing checklist?
English Housing Survey shows that 35% of properties in the private rented sector are rated “non-decent”: nearly a fifth were judged to contain a hazard posing a serious danger to the health and safety of renters.
Shelter’s research showed that over 60% of renters have experienced at least one of the following problems in their home over the past 12 months: damp, mould, leaking roofs or windows, electrical hazards, animal infestations and gas leaks. One in ten private renters claim that their health has been affected by problems with their property which their landlord has not dealt with.
Few minutes during your viewing is only time you get to find out if the property you may rent will not have problems described above.
Our house viewing checklist is prepared after analyzing experiences of thousands of property reviews. Following a house viewing checklist increases the probability of you finding the issues within these few minutes.
What do we include in Asktenants.co.uk House viewing checklist?
Asktenants.co.uk house viewing checklist is an 11 point property check you can carry out on your own at the viewing. We thoroughly recommend to read and print our checklist here.
Our house viewing checklist is an exhaustive list covering mould, condensation, rodents, boiler and electrical safety, leaks, pests, parking, fire safety, area and crime, brightness and noise. All these points covered on our house viewing checklist can significantly improve your quality of life.
Our house viewing checklist explained
1) Mould/condensation (Impacting more than a third of properties in the UK): This is top item in our house viewing checklist as it impacts highest number of properties in the UK. Checking near windows will help, condensation around window area is most common. Look out for any signs of mould (small black spots) or surfaces which appear to have been patched up. Checking behind the sofas, beds and big pieces of furniture may be a good idea as mould forms in areas where air circulation is low. Bathroom & kitchen extractor is a must have especially in flats. If you suspect humid conditions, it would be a good idea to take a humidity meter and check if humidity is between 30-60%. You can measure humidity with a humidity meter purchased from your local hardware store or online.
2) Rodents/moths etc.:- Rodents or other pest issues impact 10% of properties in the UK and very high up on our house viewing checklist. A house with rodent or other infestation problems may give some clues. Look out for mice trap/repellers, droppings, insect repellent bottles and moth sprays bottles in the bathroom. If possible look out for black spots on mattress – this could be their dried faeces of bed bugs. Check out if the carpet surfaces at edges look eaten up. Carpet moths love woolen carpets and they like to stay in the corners so checking the carpet around corners may give you clues. Carpet moths don’t just chew carpets they may fly all over your flat/property which causes distress to most tenants.
3) Parking and Traffic: – Parking makes it way on house viewing checklist as it generally gets ignored due to weekend viewings. Most professional tenants view properties on the weekend when they do not get a realistic view of traffic and parking situation. Check around the times you will need to park. Similarly, on traffic taking a drive down in rush hour may give a completely different picture than over the weekend.
4) Brightness: – With Vitamin D deficiency being the top deficiency we do not want to miss a minute of sun. We give brightness a special spot in our house viewing checklist.
The sun rises in the east, swings south throughout the day, to set in the west. Typically a south-facing home gets sun for most of the day, especially at the front of the house and is therefore usually brighter and warmer. A north-facing home gets sun at the back of the house and is typically darker and naturally cooler than a south-facing one. Direction of the flat/house can be found out by using a compass which is readily available on I-phones or other devices. Apart from direction, higher floors generally get more sunlight. It’s highly recommended to have one of your viewing in daylight, viewing in daylight not only gives you an idea of how bright the property is but you pick up things in natural light better than artificial light.
Hope this gives some useful information and helps tenants making an informed rental decision. There are lot of other issues we cover in our 11 point house viewing checklist. We highly recommend to review and print a copy here.
Lastly, we will really appreciate if you leave a rating of your current/previous rental property by signing up on our website. Rating takes 2 minutes and provides first-hand information to tenants about the property and the landlord.