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What to check before you buy or rent a property

Admin      June 04, 2017

Moving in and out is always little bit of hassle. Packing and unpacking, things broken during the transport and it is not matter of one or two hours either.

Therefore it is essential to check the property properly before the actual decision is made and contract signed. It is good to start with the area. You have probably selected the city based on your preferences, but you would not be able to check online the surroundings properly. It can be on frequented place where there is a lot of traffic, noise or air pollution. There is also very nice database of Crime Statistics according to postcode. This can be done online only. It is also good thing to speak with some of the neighbors to check the real situation and to find out more about planned changes in the area (that might be the reason why is the property on sale). Landlords and homeowners want to sell or rent the house or flat and their information might be slightly misleading.

Now when you checked the area, it is time to have a look at the outside and inside of the building. Pay attention to small details as many things could be provisionally covered up to increase the price or rent. If it is a house or flat at ground floor level in flood zone, make sure you check when was it the last time where there were floods and find out, if your house was flooded or not. Again, this might be the reason of the sale and if the building was full of water, it may need a reconstruction soon. You will be probably able to smell something in the air, either reek or it can be something very good and intense smell in order to cover the reek. Facade should be straight, without any bowls or unevenness. This may mean that it can fall away soon. Bricks are much easier to check though. If there is a chimney, it should be straight and in the same condition as the front of the house. Do not forget to check the roof, if it the water is not leaking inside of the house when it is raining.

Condition of the walls inside will tell a lot. Check if it is or was covered by mold. Do not be afraid to touch or hit the wall to check its condition. The feelings must be as if you hit rock. If the wall shivers or you perhaps make a hole in it, you can see that something is not in order. Bring a spirit level to check that they are all (and floor) straight too (you do not want your framed pictures to be hanging in the air, do you).


Time to check doors and windows. No matter if they are plastic or made of wood, they should be in good condition. If they are wet or half rotten, the level of humidity is probably very high, which is definitely not good for the property. There should not also be any spaces between the frames and the walls. This is unsecured area, where there will be significant leak of heat in winter months and it can also be a gateway for rodents.

Electricity and water is another area to be checked. You can easily try whether all sockets and switches work or not and what is the condition of pipes, if the water drops from taps even if they are tightened, etc.

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