Viewing a Property: Checklist

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

Gas and electricity

  • 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 a Gas Safe Register safety record for the gas appliances?
  • Have you asked to see the Electrical Periodic Safety report?

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?
  • Are there any signs of pests (mouse droppings, slug trails, fleas) in the house?

Security

  • Is the house secure?
  • Is there a burglar alarm that works?
  • Are all the external doors solid?
  • Have all external doors been fitted with a five-lever mortise lock?
  • Do all ground floor windows have security catches?
  • Have you identified your own property by putting your postcode on all your valuables?
  • Are the ground floor bedroom curtains lined or thick enough?

Furniture

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

Appliances

  • What is provided with the house?
  • Are there instructions on how to use the appliances? 

Insurance

  • Do you wish to be insured?

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 the 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?
  • What to do when you are moving in

Cleaning

  • Was the house clean?
  • If not, have you told the owner what the condition was in writing?

Safety

  • In the event of fire in the main access passageways of the house, could you get out of the house?
  • Are smoke detectors or fire alarms fitted?
  • Has the house any fire doors?

Repairs

  • Do any repairs need doing?
  • Have you told the owner in writing what needs doing?

Decorating

  • Does any decorating need doing?
  • If so, who is doing it and who is paying? Has the owner set any upper limit if you are decorating the house yourself? Get confirmation in writing.

Environmental issues

  • How is the water heated - is it economical?
  • If there is a hot water tank is it insulated? Does it have a BSA approved insulation jacket over three inches thick?
  • What heating system is there? how much does it cost to run?
  • Are the windows sound with no drafts?