Flat hunting? 6 key things to look at when going to view a rental flat

Flat hunting? 6 key things to look at when going to view a rental flat 

Finding a place to rent can be exciting and a relief for a tenant. Whether it’s because you’re finally moving into your own space, away from home. Or, if you’re an experienced tenant who is experiencing unhappiness where you are currently staying. But, with all that enthusiasm, flat viewing is an important step that you need to take seriously. You do not want to move into a flat that will give problems along the way. 

This is why we, at Johannesburg Housing Company, are always ready to give our prospective tenants tips for renting a flat, and what to look out for when going to a rent flat viewing. 

Before we dive into the flat viewing checklist; here is a brief list of flat viewing etiquette for first-timers:

  • Arrange a flat viewing date and stick to it as everyone is busy; be respectful. 
  • Clean up your credit score as a landlord might do a background check. 
  • Have a list of questions to ask the landlord concerning the flat. 
  • Come prepared and bring all the necessary documents. 

Check the doors and windows

Have a quick inspection and examine whether the door and windows are working properly. This could be anything from checking if the door doesn’t jam to seeing if there are any loose hinges. Make sure all the windows close and open properly, and that there are no broken or cracked windows. If there are, inform the landlord so that they can fix them before you move in. 

Do not be afraid to ask or point things out, because the landlord is there to answer any questions asked when viewing a flat. This will also give you peace of mind, and make you feel safe when you are staying in the property; which in turn is what a landlord wants too. 

Keep commuting in mind

Now that you are in the vicinity and have a visual idea of where you will be staying, you need to take a look at the commuting arrangement. Will it be easier for you to travel in your own vehicle or are there transport links for you to use. If you own a vehicle, then you need to check suitable parking. Find out where other tenants park their vehicles and how much will it cost. 

Take note of the floor and walls in the flat

When viewing the flat, look at the floor, walls and ceiling. Of course, the place won’t look brand new, unless it’s a new block of flats, but it should be neat and clean. For example, take note of any holes in the wall, as it might mean there is structural damage. 

Also, see if there are any damp spots on the ceiling, as that might mean that there is a leakage, which can become problematic for you at a later stage. Lastly, make sure the flooring is neat and tidy, and that you are happy with what you see. 

It’s important to be vigilant of the state of the place you’re considering renting, as it not only will make you unhappy, but it can also have health implications. This is especially the case if you’re someone with allergies or suffer from respiratory tract infections.

The size of the apartment

Depending on how much furniture you own, this might be something you need to consider when you’re flat viewing. Try and envision the furniture you have, and ask yourself if everything you own will be able to fit in the flat space. If you want to be precise, before you go view the flat, make sure you measure the size of the items you own. 

For example, your bed, fridge and couches, as those tend to be the items that take up most of the space. However, if this is your first rental and you are still planning on buying furniture, then this shouldn’t be a problem as you can shop according to the size of your potential new place. 

Check the electricity

Before you play around with the light switches, make sure you check that the light bulbs don't need to be changed. It is helpful for you to bring a spare globe in the event that a light bulb has fused. While you are checking the electricity, plug in a phone charger into the wall socket and see if it works. That way you know there aren't any issues with the electricity. 

Final thoughts

There are many other factors that you should look into when flat hunting, but these are the key issues that will ensure you live in a place that meets your immediate needs. Finding the right place isn’t hard, you just need to know what to be aware of. 

If you are looking for accommodation in Johannesburg CBD, take a look at JHC’s website, as we have a variety of affordable flats to rent.