Avoid a Disaster; 4 Things to Check in a New House before Moving in.

Avoid a Disaster; 4 Things to Check in a New House before Moving in.

So what are the 4 things to check in a new house before moving into it? This article walks you through what should be at the top of your list.

We have all moved from one house to another at one point in our lives. It might have been from a house you own to another or from one rented property to another. For the vast number of people, most of the movement involves moving from one rental property to another and it pays to know the 4 things to check in a new house.

It may be moving from one town to another or from one premise to another within the same locality. Since the majority of the movement involves movement from one rental house to another, this article will give insights into the most common yet often overlooked things any tenant should check out before moving into the new house.

Doing a checkup these things will help you enjoy staying in your new house and avoid frustration in the future. We have put together for you a list of the 4 things to check in a new house before moving in to help  you avoid a bad times during your tenancy.

Water Meter

The water meter is the first item on the list of the 4 things to check in a new house before moving into it.

It is a common saying that water is life. The meaning that can be inferred from this is that water is part and parcel of our everyday life that we can’t just afford to comprise on its availability and lack thereof.

Some landlords have tried to supply their property with water by drilling boreholes. However, the costs incurred drilling proper boreholes have scared most landlords from drilling them on their properties.

In addition to this, the fact that not all underground water is safe for human consumption has made such places dependent on the water supplied the various town councils.

Whereas this solves the problem for the landlords, it is just the beginning of the nightmares for the tenants if they are not careful enough.

It is important to check out the water meter reading especially the one affecting the house you intend to move into.

There have been cases where previous tenants have left huge unsettled water bills which have ended up greatly inconveniencing the next tenant as the bills have led to the disconnection of the water pending the settlement.

It is a good practice to check these readings and make inquiry from the landlord/caretaker/property manager whether the meter has any unsettled bills. If there are, it is good to agree with either of those parties on how they will be settled before you move in.

It is not pleasant to go without water for a long time soon after moving into your new house. It is also important to inquire how frequently the bills should be settled.

This will help you avoid dealing with unmanageable bills following a long time of defaulting on their settlement.

General House Condition

The item on the list of the 4 things to check in a new house before moving into it is the general condition of the house.

Checking the actual condition of the house before moving in is very important. In the real estate industry, most of the time you are expected to pay a certain amount of money equivalent to a month’s rent normally called the deposit in addition to the first month’s rent. This amount of money is refundable to you upon expiry of the tenancy.

This amount of money is also meant to help with any repairs to the property should there occur any breakages or damages to the property in any way. You may have found the house you are looking for in the most suitable location.

You may have further checked the water meter and been sure that there are no pre-existing water bills. However, in the case of a used house, the previous tenant may have left without reporting any damages done to the house during their tenure in order to get the deposit refund.

These damages may have escaped the eye of either landlord, caretaker or the property manager. This may not be the case with you when your time to move out arrives.

Taking an inventory of the condition of the house in the presence of either the landlord, caretaker or property manager will help you avoid carrying a burden that is not yours.

Ensure that you have agreed on when the damages to the house (if any) will be fixed and by who.

Electricity meter

It is true that electricity is part and parcel of everybody’s life today. This is what makes the electricity meter the one of the 4 things to check in a new house before moving into it.

It is used for doing most of the tasks in the house ranging from lighting the house, keeping the fridge running, powering television sets to powering house cleaning equipment like vacuum cleaners.

Electricity is completely inseparable from a modern house. Electricity consumption is measured by the use of an electricity meter. There are two common types of electricity meters; the prepaid and postpaid type. Basically, the prepaid meter requires you to pay for the electricity in advance by buying electricity units commonly referred to as tokens.

The way they work is that you cannot use electricity without buying these units/tokens. The postpaid meters, on the other hand, allow you to use electricity and pay for it after a certain period of time, say a month or thereabouts.

Prepaid meters are a popular option today among both tenants and landlords because of their convenience. It is virtually impossible for anyone to leave with any unsettled electricity bills with this meter. However, a good number of houses in Kenya are still fitted the postpaid electricity meters which makes it easy for previous tenants to leave without settling the electricity bills.

Depending on the appliances they had, these bills may be huge. This may put you at a disadvantage especially when the electricity is disconnected during your tenure.

Avoid this unpleasant outcome by checking the type of the meter and whether there are any pre-existing unpaid bills.


The neighborhood of your desired house should also on the list of the 4 four things to check  in a new house. More facts than the ones mentioned above will ensure your happiness in the new house you plan to move into.

These factors include your new neighbors especially if you are going to share the property with other tenants and the general safety of the property.

Most residential properties in Kenya are located in safe places because landlords/investors understand that without security, the properties are likely to remain unoccupied for a long time which does not help with return on their investment.

As an additional precaution, the landlords go an extra mile to surround the properties with either perimeter walls or other physical barriers such as chain link wires and fences. Even with these in place, be sure to do your homework on the general security of the property you intend to move in.

The most reliable way of doing this is by asking your soon-to-be neighbours because most of the time they have lived there longer. Be on the lookout for any glaring signs of violence in the neighborhood before you actually decide to move into that new house.

You must pay extra attention to this especially if you have children. The last thing you want is to raise your children in a violent and unsafe neighborhood. While at this, be sure to check out for your new house’s proximity to facilities such as schools, hospitals and shopping centres.

This may save you significant money and time later on as you continue to stay at your new house.

In conclusion, this list of 4 things to check in a new house before moving into it  is far from a comprehensive list of the things you should be checking out for.

There are some that may be a priority to you but which have not have been captured here. This article has also been biased towards residential property.

Of course, this list would have been completely different if we were talking about commercial property, say office space or general business space such as shops. In such cases, for example, the location would have taken precedence.

However, this list provides you with the basic things you should be checking for before moving into that new house.  It can always be stretched depending on your preferences and priorities.

One Comments

  1. Your blog is enlightening

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