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Housing Advice - Viewing properties
Do not pay any money for a property before viewing it in-person. View a property before signing the contract; photographs are not a substitute for visiting a place yourself. If there are significant repairs to be made not all landlords will be prepared to carry them out. In most cases you take the property as seen. Listed below are things to think about when you’re viewing a property. You might also find it useful to make notes and take some photos while you are there.
 
Questions to ask the landlord or agent
  • Who manages the property?
  • Who do I pay my rent to? (The agent or the landlord?)
  • Who do I report repairs to?
  • Are bills included?
  • How many people will be sharing bathroom and kitchen facilities?
  • How is the house heated? 
 
Condition of the property
  • Is there enough furniture? E.g. beds, wardrobes, sofa, chairs and desks etc.
  • Is the furniture in good order?
  • Who do I report repairs to?
  • Does the kitchen have enough cooking/ laundry facilities?
  • Are they in working order?
  • Are there signs of damp, mould and draughts?
  • Is the property clean and well maintained?
  • Are there any repairs being carried out?
  • Will they be complete when you move in? Get it in writing.
  • Is the house free of pests? Mouse droppings are a giveaway.
 
Safety
  • Is there a gas certificate?
  • Are there working smoke or hear detectors?
  • Is there any outside security lighting?
  • Do the electrical appliances and fittings have a NICEIC safety certificate?
  • Are there enough plug sockets? I.e. in bedrooms for computers, phones etc.
  • Are there satisfactory exits if there was a fire?
  • Are there sufficient locks on doors and windows?
  • Does the furniture/mattress have either a fire-resistant label or kitemark? 

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