Many students feel pressured to secure accommodation as early as possible. There’s many reasons why we would suggest not rushing the process, but one of the main reasons is to properly check out what’s available to you.
If you’re going from first-year into the second year this is especially important, as it is most likely the first time you’ll have the first-hand experience with estate agents and house viewings.
There is of course the obvious things to check for, but almost every second year can list of things they wish they’d have looked for during house viewings.
Keep reading to discover the most important things to keep in mind when securing your university house.
Mould and Damp
Possibly the most well-known thing to check for when viewing a house, but we couldn’t leave it out as its well-known for a reason. A house with mould and damp issues can cause hell for the residents, and most times the landlord will need to pay for work on the property for the issue to be solved.
If you notice mould or damp in any of the rooms, ask the estate agent about the issue. You want to check what is being done to solve the problem and ensure you won’t have to suffer from the issue yourself.
Be wary, most landlords and estate agents will brush the problem off and blame the current residents. This is a massive red-flag and it may be a good idea to carry on with your house hunt elsewhere.
If you’ve found the most perfect house to live in, it may be worth checking how far it is from the university campus and other key transport links such as a bus stop and train station. You may be living in luxury, but is a 2-hour walk to uni every day worth it? Even worse, how much will a taxi cost from your favourite club to your house.
You’ll realise how much you rely on public transport once you’ve made the mistake of renting a house miles away from integral transport links. You’ll also realise how expensive taxis actually are.
This isn’t important for everyone if you aren’t planning on bringing your car to uni with you. However, choosing a house with a driveway or ample parking available makes moving in and out of the property much easier than a road lined with cars or on the main road. Let’s not even get into houses on a red route…
It’s good to consider parking, and discuss with your housemates what everyone’s situation is. It’s definitely a personal choice, but can often be forgotten about.
Whether it’s a local shop or the nearest bar, you may want to see how far away local amenities are from your possible new house. Having a corner shop is great for an unexpected night out or when you realize you forgot to get an ingredient halfway through cooking your dinner.
Student houses can become key targets for local criminals, so it may be worth knowing which area has the worst crime rate and avoid them like the plague. There are lots of online resources to find this information out, and a quick google search should give you a general picture of what life may be like.
Although, you won’t find anywhere with a perfect crime rate, so don’t let this worry you too much. If you know your new house will be an area rife for fraud-related crimes it will help you to more vigilant if someone comes knocking at your door.
Finally, check what comes with the house and what doesn’t. During your viewing, you may spot hoovers, microwaves, kettles, and TV’s to name but a few things that may not be included with your tenancy. This can cause a few issues when you first move in.
Ask the estate agent what comes with the house or request a copy of the inventory. You can also ask any of the current tenants what came with the house if they are in during your viewing.