Choosing a student house is a very important decision that you will make – and therefore knowing exactly what to look for is of imperative importance. There are countless traps to avoid, and many things you should be actively doing and looking for. In this guide, we provide some great ideas for what to look out for, and the general process for when viewing and ultimately choosing to rent a student house.
Before you Begin…
Before you start the process of viewing, ensure you know exactly which friends you want to live with. This in itself is a difficult decision, but one that is important to make. You should then decide on a ball park range for which you would be happy to spend on renting.
Avoiding the tricks of the estate agent!
The first crucial part of advice is to not to fall for the tricks of the estate agent who will show you round each house. They will suggest that they have another group going later in the day to see the house, or that people are ‘already very keen’ on the house. This is done to try and rush you into a decision. All they care about is securing a conversion. Instead, take your time, and don’t rush into making what is a very important decision.
Once you have done the above, you can consider viewing student houses. You can ask the estate agents to arrange a viewing, so that is relatively straightforward. Make sure someone in your party takes a camera – as this can help you easily remember the house during future deliberations. You should also – if possible – check to see the reputation of the estate agent and prospective landlord. Your Students’ Union will often have records regarding different estate agents and their records. Unfortunately, many landlords see students as easy prey.
When you are actually looking for houses, location is a key consideration. The closer to the University campus you are, the higher the rent is likely to be. Yet you don’t want to be out in the middle of nowhere. You also want to be somewhere near your friends. Therefore, try and create a good balance. It is also worth considering your proximity to public transport hubs. Also, it is a good idea to check crime rates in prospective areas of interest – make sure you aren’t heading for a warzone.
What to Look out for!
When it comes to actually viewing student houses, firstly, look for damp. Damp is a major problem in student houses, and isn’t just an annoyance and an eyesore, but also a health hazard. Another thing to look out for are signs of rat droppings. Rats, ants and other insects often appear in a student house – and once again pose a health hazard. Check as well what furniture and appliances are included, as this is important. Finally, consider asking current tenants. They will have no reason to lie, and will generally be truthful, which cannot be guaranteed when dealing with an estate agent.
After looking round a range of houses, hopefully your group will make a unanimous decision. Use pictures you took, past experiences of tenants and general factors like location into consideration when making a decision. Ensure everyone is happy and that it fits your group well. Only then should you rush – call up the estate agent immediately, and the house should be secured. Once this has been done, the process should be relatively simple, and the house will hopefully be an amazing home for a year. Click the link below to see more helpful advice articles!
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