1/ Check the condition of the building
You have made an appointment to view an apartment with an agency or the owner: this is the time to check that the apartment you have seen pictures of online meets the description. But first, check that the common areas in the building are in good condition and that the property is well-maintained. Do not hesitate to arrive ahead of time when meeting with the real estate agency to see the condition of the building for yourself. In Paris, buildings are mostly old. If the façade was renovated, it means that the building is well maintained by the owners. You can have a quick look around in the neighbourhood to check whether there are nice local shops, restaurants, cinemas, theatres, pharmacies or easy access to public transport such as a metro station, a bus stop or a taxi stand. Once you enter the building, check the entrance hall, make sure lights are working and mailboxes are in good condition. You may also check other tenants’ names on their mailboxes! Check if there is a secure, double entrance with intercom or a Vigik pass because it improves security for tenants from intrusions and burglary, a scourge in Paris. If the rental agency shows you the way to a lift to view the apartment, suggest taking the stairs as it is a good way to get an idea of the condition of the staircase. When the paint and floor are in good condition, it means that the joint-ownership property is in good condition and that the common areas are well-maintained and renovated. Do not hesitate to try the lift when leaving the apartment to make sure it works well and there is enough room for two or three people or a stroller if you have a baby. In Paris, buildings are often narrow, so lifts are placed in very small spaces. You can also check whether there is a superintendent, and if that’s the case, ring their bell to ask them questions about the building. Superintendents often are in the best position to provide you with information on the pros and cons of living in the building.