What should I ask at a flat viewing?

A flat viewing is a good way to have a look at a property and get a feel for it before you commit to anything. Of course, there’s a lot more to a property than what meets the eye, and it’s in your best interest to prepare questions to ask in order to get a better idea of the property and its suitability.
If you are unsure about the sorts of questions you should ask, here are some to start with:

What’s the area like?

Whether you like it or not, your neighbours and the surrounding area will likely have a big impact on you and your enjoyment of the property. It’s worth trying to get a bit of insight into them and whether the location is going to suit you. If you’re looking for something quiet and peaceful, it’s good to know how rowdy things get during the weekend. If you’re reliant on public transport, it’s good to know what nearby facilities are like. Make a note of the things that you’re looking for, and be sure to ask about them at the viewing.

What sort of heating is installed at this property?

It might not be immediately obvious what runs the heating in a property, and the efficiency of the method can be a big contributor to heating costs. Knowing this ahead of time is important since you’ll be responsible for the ongoing electricity and/or gas costs.

When was this property built?

A younger property will likely cost less to maintain since newer and more efficient insulation is going to do a better job of keeping the property warm. It’s always good to have an idea of how old the property is so that you have an idea of what to expect in terms of the general state of the property, and aspects like insulation and furnishings.

Has this property been tested for meth?

While it now appears that exposure to low levels of meth contamination doesn’t have the severe health effects as previously thought, it doesn’t mean this is something you no longer need to consider. Keep an eye out for signs of meth use while you’re looking around. Things such as yellow staining of the carpet and walls, or even strange chemical smells is a big sign that something could be wrong.

What are your smoking and/or pet policies?

If you’re a smoker or a pet owner, it’s a good idea to find out what your landlord’s policies around these are. If they, for example, don’t allow pets at all, but you love the place, be sure to talk to them about this and see how prepared they are to budge on this.

Have you enjoyed living and renting here?

If you get the chance to talk to the tenants that are moving out, be sure to ask them about their experience living in the property. They might be able to provide you with insights about the property and what their landlord is like.

Make a note of these questions beforehand, and be prepared to ask them if they’re not already answered as you’re shown around the property. As much as the search for new tenants is a way for landlords to find the tenant that best suits them and their property, it’s also a chance for you to find the property that best suits you.
Featured photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

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