When looking at property to rent it is easy to get caught up in the bigger details: the size of rooms, whether it has a fitted kitchen, the general state of the bathroom or if there is enough storage space. Viewings should be used to look at the finer details too, where possible – it’s equally important to check for damp patches, cracks in walls and the general condition of upholstery and fittings.
The best time to view any property is during the day, as natural light is much more revealing than artificial light. However, this might not be possible if viewings need to take place after work or during the winter months, when the light is gloomy.
Viewing is also a good time to ask questions about when the property has been decorated or renovated – of course, if the viewing is through an estate agent, it’s unlikely you’re going to get an honest answer; but if you approach it like Sherlock Holmes and try to gain as much evidence as possible, it’s unlikely you’ll need to rely on the exact answers from a letting agent.
So, now you’ve made the leap and you have the keys to your new home and the next chapter in your life.
Landlords should always make a thorough check of their properties before letting any tenants in, to protect themselves and to ensure no minor repairs need doing; for tenants it is the best time to do a thorough once over of the property before moving furniture in, and take photos of anything that might cause problems further down the line.
Carpets should, where possible, be replaced by the landlord if the previous tenant had the property on a long-term let. If the carpets seem worn it is imperative to ask the landlord to replace any flooring before the move-in date, as doing it later could be difficult. Laminate flooring can last anywhere between 10-25 years depending on how it is treated. Slight damages can easily be repaired, and it’s especially worth checking for water damage in kitchen and bathroom areas.
Here in Liverpool, just like elsewhere in England, landlords are responsible for letting a flat that has safe and clean flooring.
While carpets and flooring should be replaced when they are clearly worn, the landlord is under no obligation to do so, as long as it’s safe. This is why any issues should be raised upon moving in.
When leaving the property, tenants must make every effort to clean the property to the very highest standard – otherwise any fees that are incurred for cleaning could come out of deposits. Therefore it is essential to shampoo or wash all upholstery – and to check other types of flooring. A photo of these should be taken before moving out and handing over the keys.
Ideally, if you’re either a tenant or a landlord – it’s in the interests of both parties to do a check of the property together to ensure that there is full agreement over the condition of property. A tenant should get the approval of the landlord in writing before moving out to avoid any nasty surprises.
This post was written by Matt Wilson on behalf of Walton Flooring Centre.