Are you ready to move in? No? Don't worry, we've got you. Here are our tips 👇
It can be easy to leave looking for next years' student home to the last minute. Searching early on means you have a better chance of finding somewhere fab, so it's better to get looking ASAP. You don’t want to get left with the worst house on the outskirt of the city, whilst your course mates are living it up in what feels like a mansion.
While we can't help with everything, one thing UniHomes can help with is making sure you know what you're doing with upcoming viewings. The process of viewing a student house should be exciting, but can be uncharted territory for some. That’s why we’re here to help.
Know your group size
Have a chat with your potential future housemates and make a wish-list of the things you’d like from your next home. Once you think you’ve sussed out who’s dirty laundry you can tolerate over the next academic year, firm up your group size before enquiring or you’ll be wasting yours and the letting agents time.
It’s tempting to get sucked in by the luxury kitchen and comfy sofas, but make sure you also pay attention to the room sizes. Although square footage can never be exact, ask if the smaller rooms come with a slightly cheaper weekly cost to sweeten whoever picks the short straw. You should also check if the bedrooms have enough storage space for your shoe collection, as well as a small study area to get the peace and quiet needed for course work and revision. Don’t be afraid to take realistic photos if the ones advertising the property were on the generous side.
Keep an eye out for signs of damp, crumbling paint work, broken appliances or stained carpets. If you spot anything, don’t be afraid to ask if these issues will be rectified prior to you moving in. While damage is part and parcel of any rented house, you can only mark a place down for it if you get the vibe your landlord won't be mega responsive.
Speak to the current tenants
Although you should get trustworthy and honest vibes from any landlord or letting agent, the best and most valuable information you can get about a property is from the current tenants. Wherever possible, try to ask them about their experiences of living in the property and any dealings with the letting agent. They’ll surely recommend them if they’ve had a positive experience, or advise you to look elsewhere if it hasn’t been a particularly happy one. Just make sure the landlord isn’t in ear shot...
Extra costs and hidden fees
UniHomes are here to advertise the best student properties, inclusive of utility bills, but you still need to pay attention to any admin fees or high deposits. It’s also worth asking about any call out charges for misplaced or forgotten keys.
Emergency points of contact
It could be the letting agent, an external contractor or even the landlord themselves, but finding out who to contact in the event of an emergency is vital. If a serious electrical or plumbing issue arises, you don’t want to rely on a slack maintenance team who’ll take their time to come and repair a dodgy toilet, or even a power blackout.
Consider your commute
It’s always worth considering your campus commute when viewing a property. You might fall in love with a house the minute you walk in, but that feeling can quickly turn bittersweet when you realise that the transport links are poor, especially when those harsh winter mornings begin to roll in.
Scope the local area
Regardless of how perfect a property might seem, it’s important to find out if the surrounding areas are up to the same standard. What's the neighbourhood like? Is there a decent supermarket close by? Are there nice places to eat and drink within walking distance? It’s a good idea to get off the bus a stop early so you can take a walk around and get a feel for the area and the local amenities.