At some point in our lives, the vast majority of us will have to rent our own property or buy a new property (whether it is sub-con or newly built).

Anyway, most of us are still not sure about what to look out for before we give our thumbs up to the property that it is fit for inhabitation, and will not cause us further problems in the future.

So here is a quick guide on the top 8 things that you must check for – the minimal 8 things that you must make sure is satisfactory – before moving in.

  1. Structural Damage/Defect

If your property is just newly built by the developer, you must check the foundations, beams, columns, partition walls, ceilings, fences, roofing, etc – these are the few things that you need to check for before giving the green light that the building is okay.

Make sure that the walls have no cracks or cracking paint

Basically, the list is quite too long, we will advise you to engage with your own building professional to ensure that the structure is sound.

If you are renting a property, best to check for cracks on the wall and paint too. It is not a bad idea to take a picture of it before moving in – just so you know – if there’s any dispute in the future. Besides, it is not unreasonable to demand from the landlord to get it fixed before moving in.

2. Check the Drains

It might sound silly, but there’s supposed to be a backup between the house and sewer line. Don’t hesitate to fill up the tubs and sinks with water and see if the water flows away smoothly.

Also, if this is a new property don’t forget to turn on the pipe and see if the water on the bathroom floor flows towards the drainage. If the bathroom floor is not slanted properly, after showing the water will be contained and could case slip and fall.

While you are doing this, make sure the water faucets are working properly too. No leakage as it can cost a bomb, and you definitely don’t want to have a head and backache trying to repair the pipes.

3. Flush the Toilet

If you are a little superstitious, it is to flush away the bad energy (Feng Shui). But in more practical terms, you want to make sure that the flush works well before you use the toilet. Imagine taking a huge dump and realised – oh the flush doesn’t work. Not good at all, isn’t it?

Don’t be ashamed to check the toilet well. It is better to fix any problems before moving in

4. Pull back the curtains and carpet

To check for mould. You don’t want to be breathing in the toxic air produced by mould. Some of you are highly sensitive to the toxic and could cause health complications.

Speaking of mould, while you are at it, don’t forget to check the bottom of beds sofas and refrigerator. The previous tenant might take the easy way out and sweep their trash below the sofas, beds, and fridge. Better be safe than sorry.

5. Check Water Heater and Air Conditioner

The water heater is pretty straight forward. Just make sure that it does its job – heating up the water. As for the air conditioner? Turn it on for 10 minutes. See if the temperature drops. And take a deep breath. Make sure that it is not too dusty.

If the landlord or agent don’t allow you to switch on the air-con, at least open its casing. Just to make sure it is properly cleaned and not dusty.

6. Check the Electrical Panels

This one is self-explanatory, especially if you have small children with you. If you have wires dangling out of the ceiling, it is a big no-no. If there are live wires that are not connected to any lines, it might mean that there are live wires inside the wall.

7. The Windows and Doors too!

It is very expensive to repair it later if there are defects. If the windows are tinted, make sure the films are working well and really block the heat. The doors – can it lock? Does it have gaps? Are they supposed to have gaps?

Try to open, close and lock the door a few times to ensure that it is working well

Now that you have this checklist with you, at least you have the fundamentals covered the next time you shift to a new residential property! Remember to always check and re-check again. You can never be too cautious, or there will be problems in the future.

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