Download this checklist or keep this page open on your phone to check through the list as you view potential properties.

Some of these are things you will be able to tell by looking but for some asking the current tenants or the agent/landlord will be the only way to get the answers.

The Outside

  • Is the roof in good repair?
  • Are the drains and gutters clear or do they have plants growing out of them?
  • How does the woodwork look? Any sign of rot?


  • Does the house seem to be secure?
  • Is there a burglar alarm?
  • Are the locks on the external doors adequate – 5-lever mortice locks?
  • Are the external doors solid and secure?
  • Would it be difficult to break in?
  • Do all the ground-floor windows have security locks?
  • Are the window frames strong and in good repair?
  • Are the windows double-glazed? This is important as it will affect heating costs.
  • Are the ground-floor curtains lined or thick enough to stop people seeing in?

Heating And Plumbing

  • Does the house have central heating?
  • Does the heating system work efficiently?
  • How much does it cost to run the heating?
  • Do any taps, pipes, or toilets leak and how effective is the shower?

Electrical Safety

  • Does the electrical wiring and fuse box look modern and well-maintained?
  • Is there a recent Electrical Inspection Certificate for the property?
  • Are there enough power points in each room?

Gas Safety

  • Is there a current Gas Safety Certificate for the house? Look for the Gas Safe mark.
  • Are carbon monoxide detectors fitted?

Fire Safety

  • In the event of a fire, could you escape easily?
  • Are smoke detectors fitted?


  • Does the house have enough furniture for everyone?
  • Are there enough beds, chairs, tables, desks etc?
  • Is the kitchen big enough to store and prepare food?
  • Which items of furniture belong to the current tenants?


  • How much is the rent and how does it compare with other properties? What is the total amount you will pay?
  • Who pays the water charges?
  • How much is the deposit, and is it protected in a Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme?
  • Are you being charged any fees in advance? If these are anything other than rent in advance, the tenancy deposit, or a refundable holding deposit they are probably illegal.

Licensed HMO (House In Multiple Occupation)

If the property has 3 or more floors and 5 or more people living there it is classed as a House in Multiple Occupation (also known as a House of Multiple Occupancy) and requires a licence.

If the property meets those criteria (3 or more floors, 5 or more occupants) ask to see the licence.

Tips for Online Viewings

hese tips will help you get the most out of an online viewing but we also recommend you read our guide to avoiding a rental scam to ensure you aren't tricked or cheated out of your money.

There are two types of online viewing you are likely to be offered:

  • A pre-recorded tour (which may be listed on the property provider website or as part of the advert).
  • A live tour (via WhatsApp, Skype, or another video calling platform)

Online Viewing Tips

#1: Insist On A Live Virtual Tour.

This allows you to ask questions at the time and more importantly direct the person delivering the tour to show different parts of the property.

Remember to view the outside of the property too including a garden if there is one!

#2: Use A Checklist

We recommend using the property viewing checklist [insert hyperlink] that offers suggestions on things to check and mark them off for each property so you remember which properties had which features.

#3: Save Or Record The Tour

If the agent/landlord shares a pre-recorded video tour they must provide a downloadable copy that the viewer can keep. If you have a live tour make sure you record it.

Keeping these will make it easier to compare properties and dispute any issues if they arise.

#4: Make Tenancy Agreements Subject To Physical Inspection

As part of your tenancy agreement you and your landlord/agent will agree the conditio of the property. The condition you agree will be checked when you move out and can affect how much of your deposit is returned.

Online viewings may not always show any or all existing issues with the property so it is better to view in person before you agree the condition.

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