Everyone wants to find a perfect home, and sometimes it can be a struggle – especially as a student! These top tips are based on my own student experience!
As the academic year nears towards its final semester and deadlines creep nearer, you may not even be considering your housing for next year – but trust me, time will fly by, so it’s time to get it sorted!
It may feel overwhelming trying to find a property that is right for you, but with websites like UniHomes, finding student accommodation can be as easy as setting a few filters and fixing a viewing.
To help you on the way, here are 10 top tips for student house hunting to make sure you find the perfect pad!
Money can be an awkward topic, especially if people in your group have different price ranges that they can afford.
The best solution is to be honest with your budgets and narrow down your search.
Some properties have different rates of rent for different sized rooms, so this could be something to look into if some parties can afford to pay more than others.
Bills and providers
Bills should be carefully considered, especially when you are trying to balance a budget.
Check websites which advertise properties that combine bills within their rental prices – UniHomes only list accommodation that have utility bills included which makes it a lot easier for students to find houses that are affordable and suit their needs!
If bills are not included, look into your providers. Many companies do various deals on utility bills, so research your different options and make sure your landlord is in agreement with the switch before you go ahead.
Of course, you want to be in a place where everyone is comfortable, so discuss preferred areas with your group.
Try to make compromises, sometimes properties located further away from universities are cheaper but its more expensive to travel in, whereas properties closer are more expensive but easier and cheaper to get to.
Distance from amenities
Being close to shops, doctors and transport links such as buses and trains is vital. You don’t want to be too far away from essentials, nor social areas like pubs and places to hang out.
Damp and other defects
When viewing houses, it’s key to look for defects and damp as it could have a negative impact on your health.
Crucial places to check are behind wardrobes, cupboards, beds and lower levels of the walls.
Bubbling wallpaper or peeling paint is also a sign there could be an issue with damp, so be aware – you shouldn’t have to deal with problems after moving in!
Make sure you take note of any defect and be sure the issue is going to be solved before moving in if you are set on that particular house.
Some properties provide more than others so make sure goods like microwaves, toasters and kettles are included in rent. What is on display at a viewing may be owned by tenants who live there currently.
Furnished or not furnished?
Similarly to electrical and white goods, furniture is not always definite. If the property is only partly furnished, chairs or tables may not be included with the property.
Be certain to find out as much as possible about what the property includes so you won’t have to either pay out for unnecessary items or be cut short because the landlord doesn’t provide everything that you saw at the viewing.
Everyone wants to be safe in their own home, so, confirm on viewing and with your landlord or letting agent that locks, burglary, fire and carbon-monoxide alarms are in working order.
Ask the tenants
There’s no better group of people to ask what it’s like living in the property than the tenants who live there already. They can give you an insight to the reality of costs, the local area and pretty much anything you ask them. So, if there are any queries, they are good people to ask, who will also give you a straight up answer.
Even though this feels like the boring part of renting a house, it’s the most important. Skim reading isn’t enough – make sure you know the details of your contract.
You are responsible if you breach the agreement and you will be the one who ends up paying out for any damage.
Check with the landlord if anything is unclear – e.g: pinning or hanging things on the wall or even using candles.
It is so important that you know what you are signing and even if it is daunting, you will understand the conditions to living in that property.
So, wherever you are looking or planning on living next year, use these tips to make sure you get top quality accommodation!
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