What should I ask when viewing a rental property?

If you’re viewing rental properties in London, it can be useful to have a few questions in your back pocket to ask the letting agent. Knowing what to look for can help narrow down the options and find the best property within your budget.

The fast pace of the rental market in London can make finding a rental property exhausting and frustrating. Rightmove, Zoopla and other portal sites can give you a useful overview and help you to compare different properties at a glance, but there’s no substitute for booking a viewing. 

Popular properties also tend to be snapped up quickly, so getting on first-name terms with a local letting agent can help you skip to the front of the queue. If they know your search criteria and you’re in regular contact, you might be lucky enough to secure an early viewing before a property hits the market. 

So what happens once you have that all-important viewing lined up? Here are a few questions to remember for when you step through the door. 

Where’s the nearest…?

Fill in the blank with whatever matters most: Tube line, bus stops, supermarket, school, gym, coffee shop, green space, local pub (hey, these things are important). In London, being on the right Tube line is probably top of your list, but it’s worth thinking about the deal-breakers and the things you’re willing to compromise. 

Even where your friends live can have a massive impact on your life. If you’re unsure where to call home, check out our Area Guides for our favourite pockets of London. 

How will you use the space?

Ask yourself this question as you move between rooms. If you’re looking at unfurnished rental properties in London and the property is currently occupied, try to focus on the size and shape of the rooms rather than fixating on the furniture. You might hate the current tenant’s taste in decor, but you can soon work some feng shui on the place. 

Here are a few considerations that might slip your mind in the excitement of the moment: 

Oh, and one practical consideration: check for any repairs when you’re walking around and get these down in writing. 

Can you afford the monthly rent?

Ask your agent about any other costs associated with renting the property. For instance, you’ll probably be asked to pay a deposit and go through referencing checks (this is standard and isn’t any reflection on your character). 

You should also ask about other bills such as: 

Final thoughts

A letting agent with local knowledge should be able to answer most of your questions on the day of the viewing. If you’re looking in East London, Keatons has been established in this area for over 20 years, so we can tell you more about a neighbourhood than just the bus routes. However, even after asking the right questions, our final advice is to trust your first impressions and go with your instincts. Only you know if a property is right for you and whether it has the potential to become a home. 

If you’re looking for inspiration, check out the rental properties we currently have available in East London. You can book a viewing online without even needing to pick up the phone. 

See our full list of property advice articles in our Knowledge Centre

About Keatons

Keatons has been based in East London for over 20 years and has since expanded to the north and south of the city. We have an outstanding Trustpilot rating from customers and we are known for helping sellers and landlords achieve the best possible market price for their property. To find out more, visit our website

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