Choosing the Right Student Accommodation at University
There are a lot of landlords out there who aren’t your friend – even if they say they are! There are a number of things to consider when looking at a place for the first time, here are some tips to get you started:
- Make sure you take a camera to take photos of the house and key areas that you’re interested in knowing more about.
- Take your time when looking around the property, there is no trouble in having a thorough look and seeing how well it is kept.
- Enter every room and check all corners and around windows for any signs of dampness.
- Don’t be shy, it always helps to have someone who is reasonably confident with you at the time of the viewing as they’ll be inclined to ask more questions.
What to look for when looking for a student accommodation:
Is that Damp?
Dampness could appear anywhere but it’s the landlord’s job to ensure that the property is looked after and looked after well. It needs to be taken seriously as it can cause major health problems caused by damp and mould and ruins clothes.
Rats/Mice & Pets?
Student houses can get extremely messy and may attract rats or mice. When viewing the house, look out for droppings, mouse traps and any other signs of infestation to ensure the landlord isn’t hiding anything.
Where is the property based?
How far away are you willing to live? If your student house is a thirty-minute walk away from university you may be more inclined to ‘snooze’ your way through those early morning lectures. A nice home in a convenient location is what makes a student house perfect.
Does the accommodation look safe?
Security and safety are the most important factor when it comes to picking a house. The windows should be double glazed and there should be double locks and fire doors in the house.
If you will be living in a group of 6 or more students, the landlord will be required to abide by stringent HMO regulations. While they are required to be met by law, they can be hard to enforce. They exist for your safety and comfort, so check up on what they involve on the internet or with your local council.
Check for open electrics.
Can you see bare electrics? Does that cupboard underneath the stairs look unsafe? Bring this up! You have every right to ask questions and don’t be afraid to discuss the white goods in the kitchen, you’ll need to make sure that you haver all of the kitchen essentials for university, sorted. If you haven’t lived with students before then you’ll be shocked at the outcome of five students sharing one standard fridge and freezer. You’ll never have any room or space for anything, so make the appliances are good enough.
Do the furnishings and fittings come with the house?
Find out what is included with the house so you know what you’re accountable for. Landlords will list items that are in poor condition, so make sure you check every piece of furniture before signing for the house, especially for broken bed springs.
Ask the current tenants.
Talk to the current tenants of the property as they’ll be able to help you with anything you need to know. There could be issues with the loft or maybe there is no lawnmower, these can be a pain further down the line and you could be paying the price.
Remember to ask about the bills, what the summer rent is (as you may be able to get this cheaper if you are not living there), how you will be expected to pay your rent, how much the deposit is as well as any possible agency fees, remember this could be an impact on your student finance.
If it’s between you and a few other student groups then the landlord will choose the group they think will cause the least problems in terms of mess. Present yourself well when talking to the landlord and if you find the place you like, don’t waste time in making a decision as student houses are very popular.