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Living in a nightmare but found out after signing the contract? 5 things you must do during a viewing


You just signed the contract of a new rental house, the boxes are all moved but still unopened and you just plumped down on your new sofa. Everything is ok. At least, you thought so….

It is getting dark, but then out of sudden the smell of a Chinese restaurant is coming through your windows. The couple who is living upstairs starts yelling to each other and you feel like you’ve landed in the middle of a soap… You go in bath to try to forget, but you feel annoyed by the little water coming out of the shower. After a while you are almost falling asleep, but out of a sudden you wake up because of loud music…What is that? Did I oversee the bar close to the house?

Welcome to your new palace…. Contract agreement: two years.


You could have prevented this horror by checking certain things before you sign the contract. In this article you’ll find some advice about what you should do before you jump into such a new adventure.

Test everything
I’m sure that in your childhood you’ve heard the words: don’t touch that! When viewing a property you’re interested in, this is the thing you SHOULD do.

When on the quest for a great deal, first check if everything really works. Maybe you get a silly feeling when turning on the faucets when the other parties are watching, but to stay away of a bad bargain, you should follow these steps before signing anything.

Doors: Do they all have a lock? Do they stick?
Windows: Do they open well? Do you feel the wind coming in?
Lights: Do they flash? Do they give enough light?
Pipes: What about the water pressure? Are you hearing noises coming from the pipes?
Drawers and cupboards: Do the drawers open well? Is there enough space, for all your things? Can you access them or are they too high?
Heating and cooling: Is the house equipped with air conditioning? Is it an inverter or a window unit? Do you feel comfortable in the house, has it a descent temperature?
Electrical sockets: Does every room has (enough) sockets?

Keep your ears open
It’s a fact that during a walk-through of a property, it is almost always quiet in the house. You know why that is? Because proprietors are smart and only show their property at ideal moments, for example when the other tenants are not there. Too bad that you cannot see on the outside if the walls are wafer-thin.

Accommodations which are recently finished, are high likely to have better construction. However, also these walls can be made of half-inch drywall with just a bit of insulation. But despite the fact you can’t see the thickness of the walls, you don’t have to take such a gamble. Check for possible sources of insanity-inducing noise.

‘’There’s nothing like being lulled to sleep by the dull, incessant vibration of a giant speaker below your bed’’, says Alex, who just moved into his new apartment. ‘’As the unidentifiably generic and unnecessarily loud electronic music pulsates its way into your apartment, you decide to give up on sleep. I’ll read until the bar closes, you tell yourself, and then you’ll have three glorious hours of silent sleep before you have to get up for work. I did not know this when signing the contract’’.

Check out the neighbors
If you’re lucky and the neighbors are at home, introduce yourself. If nobody opens the door, be your own defective.

In case you’re checking out an apartment situated in an apartment complex or a terraced house, you should look above and below you on the balconies or in the garden of the neighbors. If the garden is covered with children’s toys, expect some screaming and yelling. If you find a lot of cigarette butts, expect the smell of smoke now and then entering your house.


Beware of the night
You can have a whole different feeling about a house when viewing a property at night. Nevertheless, most viewings take place during the day, so you’ll have to use your imagination.

Search for lights outside that could be an issue; is there a street lamp shining into the room which you want to make your bedroom? This might not be a problem during the day, but a shining light into your bedroom when you want to sleep, doesn’t promote your sleep at all.

Check the window covers during the viewing as well. They can look good on the outside, while in reality they don’t function well. Plantation shutters for example are very wanted, but light is still coming in. You’ll only notice these things by giving everything a good look beforehand. You can also drive along the house at night, to see if you’ll notice some disadvantages.

Do some bug watch
It might be difficult discern whether or not you’re going to move into an insect-invading house, because some insects prefer hiding themselves until it’s dark and until you are sitting relaxed on the sofa watching television. But nevertheless there are some signs of insects you can notice during the viewing.

As gross as it may sound, look for pest droppings (black specks) on for example the backs of countertops, but also in corners and behind appliances. Be sure to also look for roach egg cases.

Rats and mice will make nests out of whatever they have available to them. Search nooks and crannies for red flags such as shredded paper, tissue or bits of clothing which might be used for nesting.

It is also important to be aware of signs of termites. They are extremely destructive pests that dine on wood, causing structural damage to a building. These pests can eat your wooden furniture a well, and create unsafe conditions for you to live in. Check the wood in the potential home or rental unit for signs of termite damage. This includes visible holes or sagging floors, and wood that sounds hollow when tapped. Shed wings of termites, or fecal pellets that are tan and resemble sawdust may be signs of an infestation.

Enough about these bed-crawling creatures, to be short: if you get a bite – Get away! That flat is most likely invaded with something you would prefer is not your problem!

Survey your location
Everybody prefers to live in an excellent neighborhood. With maybe schools in the area, a library, park or supermarket. But fact is that what looks convenient in the beginning, can change into a real nightmare.

Think about a flat that is situated next to a supermarket. Of course this looks very convenient, until you notice that the delivery people arrive every day at 4 o’clock in the morning.

When moving to such a location, first think about the opening hours, the deliveries, and the loudness of a business; it can make your life a living hell.

Good luck with the search!