Safe visiting

If you're viewing another swapper's home:

Make an appointment to view the property in daylight if possible. Plan your journey in advance to check that bus and train times will get you to the property while it's still light.

If possible, take a friend or a family member with you rather than going alone. If you have to go alone, make sure you tell someone where you are going (including the full address), at what time and who you're meeting.

Ask the person you are meeting if there will be someone else there when you view the property. Don't be ashamed to say that you are aware of your own personal safety and need to know as many details as possible. When you arrive, don't be afraid to ask to see ID of the person meeting you.

Trust your instincts. If you have a funny feeling about anything, leave straight away. Be prepared with an excuse to leave before attending the viewing, for example, not feeling well, the rooms are not big enough or the property is too large for your needs. Remember that it's always best to be polite about the property you are viewing though.

If you're inviting another swapper to view your home:

Make sure you know the full name and address of the swapper before they visit.

Only allow them to come at a mutually convenient time that you have arranged and confirmed, ideally during daylight hours. Don't be afraid to ask details about who will be coming with them.

Try to make sure someone is with you during the viewing. If this is not possible, let a friend or neighbour know that someone is coming to see your home, giving them as much information as possible.

Don't give out unnecessary personal details.

Before your visitor arrives, you'll probably want to go around and make sure that your home looks at its best. While you're doing this, put away any valuables (car keys, spare keys, medicines etc) and any documents that might contain sensitive information (official letters, bank statements etc).

Never leave anyone alone in your property. Make sure that there is someone with your visitors at all times. You can still give them space to walk around – just make sure they stay within eyesight.

Secure the property after the viewing. If you've opened windows or doors during a viewing, make sure you lock them carefully after your visitors have left.

Please don't be worried – problems with viewings are incredibly rare. We just want to be sure that you have this common-sense advice to hand so that it stays that way. Good luck with your viewings!