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Viewing property

What to ask when you're there

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You may think that there has been a bit of overkill on our part in terms of the amount of information we provide on our site. But we are firm believers that the more you know, the better equipped you are to make a sound judgement, so we have got some more questions for you to ask the landlord or the agent showing you round:

What should I ask when I am viewing a property?
Anything that comes into your head! The landlord or the letting agent should answer almost anything. If they start to get too cagey, don't be put off. If they are hiding something, it is probably something worth knowing.

How many people have you had to view the place?
The numbers don't tell the whole story but they can give you some clues. That is of course, if the agent is telling the truth.

How long has the property been available to rent?
If it has been on the market for too long, think long and hard before agreeing to move in. If they are having trouble letting it out, there may well be a reason that you have missed. Then again, it may be a chance to knock them down in price.

Has the property has ever been burgled while you have owned it?
Have cars ever been stolen from outside?

It's probably not worth getting too worried about a single isolated incident, but if the answer reaffirms some suspicions you have about the area, consider the implications for your security.

What comes with the property?
Whether it's the shed in the garden, the furniture, the shelves or the carpets in the lounge, make sure you are clear what is staying and what is going. If some things are staying, find out how much of reduction you could get for not having them. Be clear that you want a written undertaking from the landlord or agent to remove any of the things which are not staying. It's sometimes worth double checking with the landlord if the agent seems unsure. Sometimes they will tell you something without it being true.

What work will be done on the property in the near future?
Again, before you move in, get them to agree in writing to anything that will be done. If there are major repairs or renovations on the cards, think about whether the hassle is really worth it.

Incidentally, how much are the utility bills generally?
No harm in asking. If they can show you a winter heating bill, great.

We are always looking to expand our advice with help from our readers. If you have an idea of something to ask when viewing a property, please let us know.

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