What to Look for on a Rental Viewing
Are you looking for a new apartment to rent in Malta? If so, the first step is to get an agent. This is by far the easiest way to find a suitable rental property in Malta. You can rent from a private landlord in Malta however, this means doing all of the searches, admin and organisation yourself. This can be a lot of hassle and extremely time-consuming. Rental agents, like our Lettings Specialists at QuickLets, know the market better than anyone. You can quickly get in touch with one of our Lettings Specialists on Facebook or over the phone or e-mail. If you have a particular property in mind, you can ask them if it’s still available and if you can arrange a viewing. Otherwise, you can let the agent know what sort of rental property you’re looking for. They’ll probably ask you how many bedrooms you’re after, which location(s) you’re interested in, and any other requirements you have of the rental property.
QuickLets have the biggest property database on the island and your agent will most likely find you an apartment very quickly, or perhaps several. Your agent will be able to arrange viewings for you, so that you can go and see the rental property before you decide whether or not to take it. If it’s your first time renting an apartment in Malta, or anywhere for that matter, you might not know what to look for. We’re sure you’ve heard stories from your friends or colleagues about them moving into an apartment that looked great, only to find out it had tons of issues after they moved it! With this in mind, we’ve put together this guide for potential tenants on what to look for during a rental viewing. Read our guide below and don’t forget to make yourself a checklist before you go on a viewing.
Before you even go into the property, there are a few things you should check. It might be a good idea to get to the viewing a little early so that you can see the property from the outside and also take a short walk around the area to see what it’s like. Keep these things in mind before you go inside for the viewing:
What do you think of the local area? If you are only recently moving to Malta, or you’re looking to rent in a new area, it might be a good idea to take a walk around before you come to any conclusions about the rental property. It might be stunning inside but if there’s no local shop, or it’s 10 minutes’ walk away from the closest bus stop, you might want to reconsider. Likewise, if you drive, what’s the parking situation like? If the rental apartment doesn’t come with a garage, you don’t want to be driving around for hours on end looking for a parking spot.
What is the condition of the exterior? Does the building look run down or is it in good condition? If the property has a balcony facing the street, does it look safe? Is it easily accessible to anyone trying to get in? It might be worth taking some time to take a look at the locks as well. Check the locks on the front door as well as on any windows and balconies. If the property is older, the balcony and window locks might not be very secure.
Do you see anything that you’re wary of, or anything that raises a red flag? Perhaps the apartment is at street level or it’s on a busy road. You won’t be able to know how much traffic noise you can hear until you get inside, but you can definitely make a note to keep this in mind when you’re on the viewing. Listen out as you’re walking around, to see if you can hear any noise. Similarly, are there any noisy bars or restaurants on the road? If the property has a balcony or a yard, are there any neighbours that will be looking down onto you? These are all good things to consider before you make any final decisions.
After you’ve had a stroll around the local area, it’ll be time to meet your agent. Here are some things worth checking once you get inside the rental apartment:
How much light is there? It’s worth arranging viewings during the day, if possible, so that you can see how much natural light the rental property has. In Malta, every room except the bathroom should have at least one window. Windows can open onto the shaft or outside. If there isn’t a lot of natural light, what is the lighting like? Are the bulbs LED or not? LED bulbs are a lot cheaper to run than traditional bulbs. It’s not a must but LED lighting will most definitely reduce your monthly electricity bill.
Can you see any signs of damp or mould? This is something to be particularly wary of if the rental property is a basement or semi-basement. Malta is humid, and because many buildings are built using limestone, damp and mould are common issues. Have a look in the corners and on the ceiling, especially in the bathroom and laundry room, to see if you can see any signs of mould.
Listen out to see if you can hear the neighbours or any traffic noise from the road. If you’re someone who likes peace and quiet, you’ll go crazy if you end up renting an apartment in Malta with paper-thin walls! Check that the property has double glazing, as this will reduce the noise you hear from the street, as well as improve the insulation.
What are the appliances like? First and foremost, in Malta, you’ll probably want to check that the rental property has AC. For most tenants, you’ll want AC in the living room and your bedroom at least. You can use the AC to help you keep cool during the summer. What’s more, most people in Malta use the AC to heat up their property in the winter, as only a small number of properties have central heating. How about the other appliances? Have a quick check of the washing machine, oven, microwave and dishwasher (if there is one). Are they all in good working order?
In the bathroom, as well as checking for mould, run the taps and the shower to see what the water pressure is like. If the rental apartment is on a higher floor (near the roof), there won’t be a very long distance for the water to travel from the water tank, leading to low pressure. Some properties have pumps installed, to increase water pressure. This is worth checking, as you won’t want to wait until your first shower to find out that the water just dribbles on you! While you’re there, you can check to see if the bath/shower has any leaks and how quickly the water drains away.
These are the basic things to check. You might also have some specific requirements that you’ll want to clarify about the property as well. Perhaps you want a balcony that gets full sun? Whatever it is, don’t forget to add it to your checklist. If you like a property that you’ve seen and you feel like you’ve checked everything, there are a few more things to consider before you go ahead and sign a contract. Do make sure to ask if bills are included in the rental price. Usually this is not the case however, some properties do include WiFi. Ask how much the deposit is, and how much the agency fee is. Most first-time tenants only think about paying the rent and don’t budget for any additional costs. Make sure you can afford everything before you make a commitment. Whilst you’re with the landlord, signing the contract, do get their contact details in case you have to get in touch for anything (repairs, maintenance etc.) and ask if you are allowed to decorate.