Found a potential flat? Check. Arranged a viewing? Check. Remembered to ask if there’s a dishwasher in an attempt to preserve domestic bliss and marital harmony in the near future? Not so much.
Flat viewing in London isn’t without its hurdles. And that doesn’t take into consideration the pain of packing up and actually moving your lovely belongings. No one needs that. So before you visit your next property, keep these questions in mind.
1. What’s the landlord like?
If you’re lucky you’ll get to meet the existing tenant.
This is the best way to get a feel for the landlord – and how helpful they’ll be if you need them in the future. If possible, find out about things like replacing furniture, fixing heating and anything structural like windows and walls (in case there’s damp).
Most of this should be covered in your contact, anyway. But it doesn’t hurt to ask.
2. What are the neighbours like?
No one likes a nasty surprise. And that includes noisy neighbours, unfriendly dogs*, or people who leave a mess in the hallway.
*Better yet, ask if there are friendly dogs too. Then you might be able to find them on borrowmydoggy.com. It’s like Tinder but for doggos.
3. Where do I find the stopcock?
If there’s ever a flood, or a broken pipe, then this will stop any running water.
Good for the environment. Better for your belongings/wallet.
4. Am I allowed pets?
This is an extension of the dog section.
It’s an entirely valid point, especially considering owning a pet helps to reduce the risk of heart disease and make you happier about life in general.
Again, this will probably be covered in your contact, however, some landlords are more flexible than others.
5. Who do I contact if there’s an emergency?
This might seem like a question for after you’ve moved in. But it’s important to know who you’ll be dealing with if things go wrong.
Here’s an example. One Monday morning, I dragged myself out of bed at an ungodly hour, stepped into the shower, and found out there was no water. I don’t mean no hot water. I mean water full stop. It was too early to call the letting agents and I had no idea who to contact.
Now, if I had been smart about it, I’d have known to call my flat’s management company. But this was news to me at the time. So instead, I wasted three hours waiting around and could’ve had it fixed quickly if I was organised.
Moral of the story: ask the right questions, before you need the answer.
Flat viewing in London
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