Viewing a unit is one of the first steps a potential tenant must make in finding a unit to rent. After taking an interest in the photos posted online by the lessor, now you can compare and see if the expectations you set and the unit you see is a match. However, oftentimes viewings are rushed and many things or questions may be overlooked. And we can’t blame you—you’re most likely busy with work, the long commute (which is most likely why you’re looking to rent), and too tired to do a proper viewing.
To make the most out of your limited time, we have compiled a checklist of items and questions to go over when doing a viewing. Some of these may be omitted with smaller studio units but most of the general points apply whether it is a small or large living space.
Send a proper enquiry. A courteous message stating your name, expressing your interest in viewing the unit, and asking for a viewing date is a great start. Why a message? This way, your lessor can attend to your query when they are available. That and they have your message recorded.
Confirm the viewing on the day of OR notify your contact ASAP if you aren’t able to make it and suggest an alternative schedule. Odds, are you’re not the only one eyeing the property and you want to let the lessor know that you’re not wasting their time
Inside the Unit
- Check the outside of the property. Is it in good condition?
- What security measures are in place? How are guests monitored? Is there an entry phone?
- What amenities are in place? Who maintains them? Do you need to pay an extra fee to use them? Can your visitors use them for free?
- What are the neighbors like? Will you be living with an elderly couple, A big family, or office workers? Are there any potential nuisances to expect? What is it like at night?
- Are there fire exits, smoke alarms, or fire sprinklers outside and inside your unit?
- Is there parking available? Of so how much do you need to pay for a slot? Can you keep a bike and where can you park it?
- Is the front door secure? Is there a burglar alarm system? Can you add/change locks without getting a penalty?
- Are there signs of dampness, mold, old paint, water damage or signs of pests?
- Is there anything that needs to be repaired or changed like old wallpapers, broken floor tiles or anything that creaks?
- Check the plugs, are there an ample amount for your needs? Are any of them broken or burnt?
- Does it have proper ventilation? How many windows does it have? What about air conditioning? Do they have one in place? Is it functional and optimal for your electricity budget? Is there cleaning and maintenance for the air conditioning unit? If so is there an existing vendor doing the job and who pays for them?
- Will it have enough space for your belongings?
- For furnished units: What pieces of furniture are inside the unit? Are they all in good shape? Can you swap out some items with your own belongings?
- Are re-decorations allowed? What are you not allowed to change?
- Do you allow pets? Are there pets in the neighborhood? Will there be a fee if you bring a pet?
- Is the kitchen space enough for your needs? Do kitchen appliances like cooking stove, oven, washing machine or dishwasher work?
- Is the bathroom in good shape? Check if the shower works properly, if the toilet flush is strong, and there are no cracks in your toilet bowl. Also, check if the taps leak, if the water supply adequate, and what you need to do in the event that water is not available.
- Is there wifi available? Or are you able to get your own internet connection for your unit without paying extra?
- What should you do if anything needs to be repaired? What kind of repairs will the lessor shoulder? How do you request for these repairs?
- In an emergency, is there someone you can contact? If a pipe bursts in the middle of the night or for any other household emergencies after office hours, who should you call? Who will shoulder those repair jobs?
- Discuss the fees. On top of rent, what security deposits will you need to pay upfront? How are you going to pay rent and other utility bills? Are there other fees you should expect?
- What requirements must you furnish should you decide to take unit?
- If the unit is a match for your needs, ask if you can see a copy of the contract that you can take home and review
- Send a thank you message to your lessor. Include details on your decision on the unit – if you want to see a copy of the contract, a timetable on when they can expect your decision, if you have more questions you might have missed, or if you need another viewing.
- If you think the unit wasn’t to your liking, thank them for their time and tell them it does not meet your needs. You want to keep good ties with your contact as you’re likely to encounter them again if they have other properties listed. Or they can suggest or refer a place that you might like.
- If you liked the unit, follow up with your contact. Whether it is to get a contract, submit requirements, or getting a second viewing. Keeping in touch lets them know you are interested in transacting with them.
Establishing a good first impression on your potential broker, lessor, or landlord is important. When a unit have great facilities, and is well maintained, it is highly likely that you’re not the only one interested, and it will be occupied quickly. Putting your best foot forward can help your would-be lessor shortlist you as a good renter. It’s a two-way street after all: you both want someone who’s easy to talk to, is transparent, and holds their end of the bargain.
We have a list of additional questions to ask, especially when you are renting for the first time
Do you have any good viewing tips we might have missed? Share them in the comments section below!
Happy Renting! :D