Renting a flat is quite a serious thing that requires some preparation. If you rent the first place that seems nice, you may encounter some difficulties afterwards. You need to know what things to check to make sure your life in this flat will be comfortable and safe. Here is a mini-guide for that.
1. First impression: lighting
Entering a flat, look around and see if the rooms are lighted enough and if the lamps are powerful. Is the natural light from the windows lights up the rooms during a day? Don’t be embarrassed to ask such questions. Take into account what side the windows face. If you enjoy the sunlight in the mornings, better look for a flat that faces southeast. Flats with windows facing north are usually much darker during days.
2. Heating and thermal insulation
Notice the type of heating; whether it is central, gas or electric. Then pay attention to the equipment: radiators, convectors, floor heating, etc. Those things influence your future comfort, as well as the numbers in your electricity bills. Also check the condition of the window frames especially if they are wooden.
3. Sound insulation
Check the windows: is it great if there are double-pane sashes protecting from the street noises. Also listen carefully if there are any noises from neighbors. The piano play that may charm you at first will definitely annoy you with time.
4. Entourage and neighbors
Look if your windows face the windows of another building. If they do, how far are they from each other? It can be very important for your future comfort. It is also a good idea to ask your potential neighbors what they think of this building, of other neighbors and about the whole neighborhood.
5. The condition of the walls
Look in what condition the walls are and pay attention to their décor. If they are painted, how clean are they and aren’t they decayed? Look at the ceiling as well. If there are wallpapers, make sure they are in good condition. If you don’t like them find out if you can change them.
If a flat is in an old building, check if there are enough sockets and if they are suitable for modern home appliances; old wiring may be not designed for today’s powerful devices. Don’t forget to check all the switches and sockets; make sure they all work.
If you have kids, pay attention to the additional safety measures, the conditions of banisters, etc. Later you can install all the blockers you need.
Take a look at the floor and whether it is in a good condition, whether it is practical and suitable for your taste. If there is a worn-out carpet, old tiles or other coverage unsuitable for you, you can always discuss changing it with your landlord.
9. Bathroom and plumbing
Open all the faucets to make sure they work right, take a look at the bath or shower, sink and other things to see if there are any cracks or rust firm.
Ventilation is also a very important aspect. Take a good look at the ventilating grids. If they look too flimsy or yellowed, they haven’t been replaced for a while.
10. Places for storing your stuff
Make sure the flat has enough places to keep your clothes, shoes, books, utensils and other things. Discuss the possibility to change nonfunctional furniture and to buy some new things.