Finding your first proper student home is an exciting experience: friends, freedom and a place to make your own (well, for a year or so anyway!).
However, we know from personal experience that it’s easy to get caught up in the property rush – when your course mates, flatmates, SU advisors and even the university are telling you to find a house ASAP, it’s difficult to not get swept away with the flow.
In fact, one in eight groups of students decide to go with the very first property they see, and a third are unhappy with the quality of their accommodation compared to the rent they’re paying (Source: The National Student Accommodation Survey 2018). Plus with so much to consider when finding a student home, it can sometimes feel a little overwhelming diving into the rental market for the first time.
The reality is though, whether you go searching in November, February or even May, there will still be great student properties available.
So, take a deep breath and prepare yourself to learn how to view properties like a professional, because your buds at UniHomes have got you covered with the most comprehensive student property viewing checklist out there 😎
What’s in this guide?
Looking for some specific advice? Here are some handy quick links to skip ahead.
Time to make Kirstie and Phil look like amateurs.
Preparing For Student Property Viewings
You might have spotted the cutest studio apartment ever, or a sweet 6-bedroom house for the squad from halls to move into – but before you even think about hitting that ‘Book a Viewing’ button, make sure you run through our Pre-Viewing Checklist.
We’ve split this bit into two parts, the first running through the pre-flight essentials to make sure you know all you need to know to find the right student houses, and the second covering a couple of must-haves to prepare for viewing day.
Things To Know Before Booking A Viewing
Calculate Your Budget
We know, we know. Maintenance loans are never enough to cover everything.
That’s why it’s super important to work out your budget before going to view any properties, there’s no point going to look around somewhere that’s twice your acceptable price range! In fact, it’s probably a wise idea to get everyone together who you plan on living with to work out the maximum acceptable weekly rent you can pay between you.
Start by working out how much cash you’ll have access to over the year. Take into account your student maintenance loan, any additional grants or funding you might receive, income from a part-time job, and any support you might receive from family.
Got it? Now divide it by fifty-two (the typical length of a student tenancy) to get your weekly budget.
Next, it’s time to add up your essential outgoings – how much will you need to spend per week on food, travel, phone contracts, and some semblance of a social life. This should leave you with a figure that outlines the absolute upper limit of how much you can afford for rent and bills, making it a lot easier to filter for properties in your range!
Check Your Credit Rating
Not an absolute essential, but definitely worth doing just in case, as a few student letting agents may conduct a Credit Check as part of your application for a student property.
If they do, chances are they won’t be looking for you to have a perfect score, however inversely if they discover you’re absolutely terrible with managing money and have six outstanding payday loans, it might impact their decision to rent to you.
There are three main credit agencies to check with as different credit providers will check with different agencies: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion (previously Call Credit).
Thankfully, there’s a few free tools (and we know you love free stuff) to help you conduct a quick credit check:
Money Saving Expert Credit Club
Ever useful for anything money-related, MSE have you covered to check up on your Experian Credit Score.
ClearScore provide a beautiful, easy to navigate dashboard for checking your Equifax Credit Score.
Part of the CallCredit Group, Noddle provides a free-for-life way to check your CallCredit Credit Score.
We won’t delve into the details of how to improve a low credit score here, but if you’re worried about how it looks, Money Saving Expert also has some great advice on Credit Ratings.
Think About What You’re Looking For
Once you know your budget, you should also take time to think about what you’re looking for as an individual tenant, or as a group, in order to find well-suited student properties.
Consider, are you after a basic crash-pad that provides somewhere warm to sleep after a day of studying, sports, societies, and dare we say it, partying? Or are you looking for a cosy study area to work from, learning and revising for y’know, that degree you’re here for?
Does it need to be close to the campus to facilitate a short walk to uni, saving travel costs, or do you have a bike or car and are willing to live a little further out? If you’re OK with having a little extra travel time added to your uni commute, properties a little further out are often far more affordable.
Do you feel like you’d like to live in the centre of a hive of student activity and social life, somewhere more cultural and varied with independent traders and restaurants, or simply somewhere that gives you a bit of peace and quiet?
Answering questions like this before booking viewings will help you hugely in whittling down a long shortlist of properties into the ones that could really feel like home.
Make Sure You Have A Guarantor
Unfortunately, students have a reputation for not managing their money well, and often needing a little extra financial support. That’s why a lot of letting agents and student landlords require tenants to have a guarantor in order to rent a property.
Guarantor’s are a third-party, usually a relative of the student, who act as security against the rental payments in case the student does not pay. Depending on the individual tenancy agreement, you may be required to have a single guarantor for the combined household rent, though in some cases agents will allow individual guarantors per student.
Obviously, this can be a point of contention for some students whose guarantor doesn’t want to be responsible for a bunch of student renters who they don’t know. Make sure to discuss this with whomever you choose to live with, so you’re all prepared if it comes up.
Research The Area
It goes without saying, but we’ll do it anyway – go and check out the area you’re thinking about living in, before committing to moving there!
There’re multiple ways you can do this, but here are a few ideas to get started:
Take a walk
Grab your future housemates and go for a stroll around the neighbourhood. Check out what the area looks and feels like, work out how far away everything is, and look into the local social scene.
Chances are at University you’ll know or have met someone who lives in the area you’re interested in. Invite them out for a coffee and find out their experience of living in the area: what do they like about it, where do they recommend going, what are their grumbles, etc.
Use Google Maps/Street View
Need to check out the closest bus stop, the most efficient walking route to campus, or where the closest 24-hour supermarket is? Google Maps will be your best friend to find out all this and more.
Check crime in the area
It’s an unfortunate part of living in your own home, but you should be aware of the crime rate in the area you’re thinking about living in. Handily, the Home Office has provided data on all reported crimes in postcodes across the UK via the Police.UK website.
The last thing you want after a stressful day full of lectures is to head home and find out your internet isn’t fast enough to handle 5 people all watching Netflix, streaming to Twitch, and having video calls with family back at home. Once you’ve found a property you like, look up the postcode attached to the street and use it to check out available broadband speeds in the area using a tool like the uSwitch Broadband Speed Checker.
When You’re Ready To Book
So you’ve gone through your finances, found a guarantor, and know the inside scoop on the neighbourhood you’re thinking about moving to. Now you’re ready to book a viewing 🎉
If you haven't already prepared a shortlist of properties, why not start your search with UniHomes? Browse the best properties at your University, create shortlists and book viewings, quickly, easily and completely free - plus, if you rent UniHomes property, all bills are included with the rental cost shown on our site!
Go ahead and start making bookings for all the properties you’ve shortlisted, but as you do, keep in mind the following quick points.
Landlord or Letting Agent
There’s no hard and fast rule about which is better, but it’s worth bearing in mind the potential differences renting with either a private landlord or a student letting agent could make.
When renting through an agency, you essentially have an extra layer of security as the agent becomes a go-between for you and the landlord. This makes sure everything is done correctly and professionally, and you’re more likely to be able to get in touch with them should something go wrong.
On the other hand, renting directly through a landlord can sometimes offer a bit more flexibility in terms of negotiating rent, getting improvements made to the property and managing issues like late payments if your student loan gets delayed. However, as they’ll also be the sole point of contact for you as a tenant, it might be difficult to get hold of them to resolve issues, especially if being a landlord is something they do ‘on the side’.
Book During Daylight Hours
Properties can look very different in the harsh light of day than they do when nicely lit up with warm lighting in the evening. By booking viewings to take place during the middle of the day, you’re guaranteeing yourself a good look at every detail of your potential student home.
In particular, viewing in daylight can help show up issues like damp, large cracks in walls and around door or window fittings, and discolouration or staining on walls and carpets. At night, chances are even those of us with sharp 20/20 eyesight might miss spotting some of these issues.
Take Someone Else With You
When you’re booking viewing dates, make sure to find days and times when as many of you as possible are available to attend the viewing. Ideally this should involve all the housemates you’re looking with, but even if it’s just a friend who’s got time between lectures, it’s easy to underestimate how helpful it is to have a second opinion when house hunting.
They might spot things you’ve missed, consider the pros and cons of the property from a different angle, or have some extra knowledge of their own to contribute to the decision-making process after viewing. Often the best thing to do is view a property with someone who isn’t going to be living there – they won’t be afraid to give you their honest assessment!
What To Look For When Viewing A Student House
The big day has arrived, you’ve got six properties to get around in just a few hours and, fingers crossed, you’ll find somewhere amazing to live for the next year of uni. Before we get started running through our checklist though, we’ve got three uber important points to quickly mention:
Don’t Feel Rushed
We’re sure you don’t need an explanation here, but seriously, don’t feel rushed, pressured or hurried through any of your viewings. Take the time to look things over, ask all the questions you want and get a feel for each place – after all, you’re potentially going to be living there for at least a year!
Any decent student letting agent or landlord should have booked enough time between viewings to allow you at least 30 minutes for a viewing, which is more than enough for a small 2- or 3-bedroom property. Obviously, for larger student houses you’ll need a bit more time.
Don’t Fall For Gimmicks
It’s becoming more common for properties to be sold with various ‘perks’ to students, in order to encourage them to make a decision faster and put money down on a property that either might not be right for them, or is out of their price range but the deal seems too good to miss. Often you’ll find these properties come with a higher weekly rent too, despite the extras being supposedly ‘free’.
Perks often include upgrades like a brand-new TV or games console in the property, monthly beer deliveries, shopping vouchers, or similar. Whilst these might seem tempting, make sure you’re considering the important stuff for all the properties you view, leaving the gimmicks to be exactly what they are – added benefits if, and only if, the property itself is good!
Look For The Positives
Finding your first home at university is supposed to be an awesome experience. Yes, you might find a few dumps along the way, but as you look for somewhere to live make sure to remember the positive side of what you’re doing!
Most of the time when you talk to people about student housing, they instantly leap to the negative side (and most guides do too!) so we’re here to preach the pros! From our collective experience - and it’s a fair bit – finding a great house to share with great friends is one of the best bits of university.
Allow your imagination to run wild when you walk into a room – where would all your stuff go? Is there a big garden to host BBQs and parties during the summer? How many people do you reckon you could fit on the sofa for the final season of Game of Thrones? Imagine wrapping up cosy in a warm corner of your future bedroom, finishing off the last bits of coursework before heading home for the festive season.
It might sound a tad cringe-worthy, but when you hear people talk about a property’s ‘potential’ – it’s exactly this type of positive visualisation that they mean!
Right - let’s get into the meat of it before you head out – here’s what you absolutely need to be looking for and checking out at each property viewing!
💧 Damp and Mould
A common problem in rental properties, and not just student ones, is damp. In fact, in 2014, 38% of renters who took part in a Shelter survey had suffered from damp related issues.
Damp and mould occur in a couple of ways, though thankfully it’s fairly easy to identify unwelcome damp during a property viewing, with common signs including:
- A musty smell
- Black mould or mildew on floors, walls or ceilings
- Walls, floors or ceilings that feel very cold and damp to the touch
- Peeling or discoloured patches of paint and wallpaper
- Excessive amounts of condensation on windows, puddling on the windowsill
Make sure to cast a glance over all walls, ceilings and windows during your viewings to check for signs of damp. Additionally, check behind large items of furniture like wardrobes, and inside built-in closets, cupboard and pantries.
Whilst a small black mark on the wall might not seem like a big issue, it can be a warning sign of bigger problems to come, and if not promptly treated can exacerbate health issues like asthma. There’s also the chance of the mould spreading to your clothes, furniture and other personal possessions, and once it’s established, can be very difficult to remove.
If you’ve been following along, you should have already done a quick check for crime rates in the area before going for a viewing. Unfortunately, these theft from property rates are usually a little higher in student areas as opportunistic criminals take advantage of young students accidentally leaving doors or windows unlocked.
There’s no requirement for properties to have a burglar alarm fitted (it’s a HUGE bonus if you find one that does) so instead make sure to check that external doors can be properly locked and secured with a chain.
Most properties you view will have a Yale-type lock (the ones mounted on the inside of the door, with a small lever) that allow properties to be well-secured from the inside. Less-often you may also find mortice locks, the ones that use thick, toothed-keys, which offer good security on external doors, but are less-favourable in shared accommodation due to the safety hazard posed if someone is locked in the property.
🧯 Fire Safety
Students in shared accommodation are at high-risk of injury caused by fire – whether by leaving cooking unattended, having a crafty cigarette inside, or leaving an electric heater running to keep your room warm – so checking for proper fire safety equipment is essential.
Your landlord has a responsibility to provide adequate safety equipment including: working fire alarms on every floor of the property, carbon monoxide alarms if the property uses gas, and heat-alarms in rooms like kitchens.
Ideally, your property should also have a fire extinguisher or fire blanket installed in the kitchen. These should be in-date, and the person conducting the viewing should be able to tell you when they were last checked - if this was longer than when the current tenants moved in, be wary.
Finally, if you’re looking for a larger property, usually five students plus, your landlord is required to abide by HMO (House of Multiple Occupancy) regulations, which include making sure emergency exits are clearly marked.
⚡️ Utility Supplies
It should be fairly easy to work out by looking at the heating set-up, and what type of cooker is in the kitchen, but double-check what type of utilities supply each property. This will be electric, gas, or both.
There are pros and cons to each of these, but in a nutshell gas central heating will be a lot cheaper and warmer in winter than electric heaters, and a lot of people find cooking with gas preferable to electricity as it doesn’t take as long to heat up. Alternatively, having just electricity allows you to select utility suppliers who source power from sustainable and renewable resources 🌱
Either way, it’s also wise to check out what’s been set-up for monitoring utility usage to keep an eye on your spending! Most suppliers will fit smart meters for free these days, allowing you to track current energy usage, and look back at how much you’ve spent on bills over the past days, weeks and months. Alternatively, find your accommodation with UniHomes, and all utilities are included with your rent (plus TV license and internet!) – easy peasy.
Finally, you should also have a look if the property still has a pre-payment meter installed. These are the old meters which require a top-up card to be inserted to use electricity and gas. These SUCK, especially when they run out in the middle of cooking tea, on a Sunday, when the local corner shop is shut so you can’t get a top-up. Thankfully they’re being phased out to make way for modern technology.
🧤 Proper Insulation
In order to stay warm and dry in your new student home and not blow a fortune on heating, you’ll want to be making sure the property is properly insulated.
Windows should be double-glazed to help retain heat, doors should be fitted and secure with no large gaps for the wind to howl through, and a decent heating system should be installed with at least one radiator or electric heater in each room.
You can also take a look at the EPC for each property (more on these further down) to get a feel for how good the insulation is overall.
🐀 Signs of Pests
Thanks to their reputation for lacking cleanliness, pests are a prevalent problem in student properties. Including everything from mice and rats, to slugs and snails, to cockroaches and bedbugs, an infestation is something you really don’t want.
They’re a bit harder to spot without actually seeing the creatures scuttling around, but during your property viewings have a careful check for sign of pests, including:
- Small, pellet-shaped droppings around the edges and corners of floors, especially in the kitchen.
- Slime trails left by slugs or snails.
- Traps or poisons left out by current tenants to catch existing pests.
If you feel you need to, open cupboards and doors to check for critters hiding in the back and check behind both internal and external bins. It’s better to be proactive at this point, than finding yourself in need of pest control three weeks into your tenancy!
Most students won’t have much of their own furniture to bring with them to a student house, so the likelihood is you’ll be looking for a fully furnished property. Usually, this includes everything from beds, desks, chairs and wardrobes in each room, through to the sofas, dining tables, and kitchen appliances.
However, make sure that when you’re viewing a property that you get a copy of the inventory. Inventories detail everything that should be within the property at your time of move-in, so whilst the washer-dryer combi looks handy, if it’s not on the inventory it may not be there when you start unpacking. Good things to check are:
- Is there enough fridge/freezer space for all the tenants?
- Is the microwave / kettle / toaster included?
- Is there a reasonably good washing machine, or will you need to find a laundrette?
Similarly, check soft-furnishings like sofas and mattresses for any problems. Broken springs and support-struts are uncomfortable and can be dangerous. If you find anything, query it with your agent – they might not have been aware and can take it up with the landlord to arrange a replacement.
🚿 Faucets and Shower
We recommend having a quick run-round to check the toilet flushes and all the taps and water outlets work properly, especially the shower. Make sure it’s got enough power, it warms up reasonably quickly, and the stream is enough to actually wash in, instead of feeling like you’re standing under a leaky gazebo.
Speaking of leaks – if you spot any dripping taps, make sure to check with the agent whether this will be repaired before you potentially take up tenancy. A leaky tap can waste tens or hundreds of litres of water in a year, that adds up to a pretty nasty water bill that could be easily prevented!
🔌 Power Outlets, Phone Lines and Aerials
It’s an inconvenience that we need constant access to power sockets, but such is modern life!
While you’re scanning around your future student bedroom, keep an eye out for how many power outlets there are spread out around the room, keeping in mind how many you need access to. Remember that extension cables are readily available too, so even if there’s only a couple of outlets spread around the room, £15 can get you a 10-socket 2-metre extension cable on Amazon.
At the same time, keep an eye out for where the phone line is located – you’ll need access to this in order to set-up a router to provide Wi-Fi access around your house. Ideally this should be in a fairly central location to ensure even distribution, but if it’s located in one corner of the property, you may end up getting a weak signal at the other side.
Finally, if you’re planning on using an aerial to watch TV channels, look for where this is located in the living room or bedrooms so you know where the TV might have to fit.
📶 Phone Signal
The last thing you want is to find an amazing property, move-in, unpack… and then realise it’s a black-hole for phone signal 😱
It’s an easily overlooked and oft-forgotten check when going around multiple house-viewings, but trust us (totally, 100% not based on experience… honest), if you slip up on this one it’s really going to suck.
Get everyone at the viewing to pull their phones out and check their signal bars, 4G connection quality, and possibly even try calling someone to check the call quality. If you’re on different networks then bonus, you’re prepared for all eventualities!
👤 Existing Tenants
If they’re in, the absolute best thing you can do is talk to the existing tenants about what it’s been like to live in the property. Ask for their honest opinion on the best and worst bits – if your agent has left something out, the tenants are sure to fill in the missing details.
Good things to check are how warm or cold the property gets at different times of year, whether they’ve had to get any repairs done, and if so, how responsive is the agency or landlord.
Finally, we always like to ask, ‘Why aren’t you staying another year?’. If it’s their final year, you’re in the clear, if not dig deeper to make sure they’re not moving out for a worse reason.
Questions To Ask When Renting A Student House
Once you’ve completed all the essential checks, here are a few tips on the types of questions to ask the agent or landlord showing you around each property.
Ideally, they should be prepared to answer all of these during your viewing, however, don’t be deterred if they need to check back in with the office first on a few details – it can be difficult to remember the exact details when they’ve got hundreds of different properties to manage!
Can You See The Energy Performance Certificate?
Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) show energy efficiency and environmental impact ratings for properties, measured on a scale from A-G (similar to the coloured bars when you buy a TV or similar) with A being best, and G being, well, awful. As well as the scale, EPCs are accompanied by a short report containing recommendations on ways to improve the rating – pay attention to this as it’ll highlight any potential problems with the property, such as bad roof insulation, etc.
Most properties fall into the A-C category, showing that they have reasonably good energy efficiency and insulation. Your agent should ideally have the EPC details to hand, or if not, be willing to provide you with an online version to look at after the viewing.
Is There A Gas Certificate?
If the property is fitted with a gas supply, there is a requirement for a gas safety check to be conducted every 12 months, and a certificate produced to evidence the property passed the checks. Additionally, this can only be done by proper gas-safe certified engineers.
Your agent or landlord conducting the viewing should be able to provide you with a pink certificate evidencing the most recent gas safety certificate either then and there, or electronically after the viewing. They should also be able to directly show you the Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors installed at the property too – don’t just take their word for it.
If they cannot provide you with evidence of proper gas safety precautions, steer completely clear of the property and scratch if from your shortlist.
How Are Bills Handled?
Ask the person showing you around what the deal is with the utilities.
Are they all-inclusive and you’ll pay for them within your rent? If so, is there a limit on usage, what internet speed is included with that package, and are extras like TV license and contents insurance included here? If you’re booking viewings through UniHomes, you can answer this question with a solid yes, as all of our student properties have all-inclusive bills included in the weekly rental figure!
If they’re not included, are you as a student tenant able to shop around for the best utility deals and switch suppliers to the one which best suits your usage, or are they fixed with suppliers agreed on by the landlord or letting agents?
Is There Parking Or Bike Storage?
If anyone planning on living at the property has either a bicycle or car/motorbike, check with the person conducting your viewing what the parking is like. If you’re lucky enough to find somewhere with a driveway, go you, if not, there’s only a couple of other options.
If on-street parking is available outside the property or nearby, check if a permit is also required. Don’t assume that because people are parked outside that you can too! Sometimes your permit may be included as part of your rent, other times you’ll need to contact the local council directly to arrange payment.
If this isn’t available, have a look to see if there’s a local communal car park that allows long-term permit deals for nearby residents. Obviously, this isn’t ideal though as you’ve got to leave your car elsewhere.
For those of us with bicycles, unless you want to squeeze it into your bedroom, proper bike storage is a must to avoid leaving your precious transport at the mercy of the elements.
Do They Have An Inventory List?
We mentioned the inventory already, but while you’ve got their attention, ask the agent to provide you with a copy of the inventory for the property. Being able to check things off while you take a look around is much easier than reviewing it later and trying to remember what was where!
What Is The Deposit And Deposit Scheme?
Most properties will require you to put down a deposit as part of the move-in process. Deposits are usually equal to around one month’s worth of rent and act as a security for the landlord in case you as tenants cause any damages, don’t pay rent, or leave outstanding bills against the property.
If you’re signing an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (the most common type of tenancy agreement for students) your agent or landlord is required to keep this cash locked away in one of three government-backed deposit schemes – the Deposit Protection Service, MyDeposits, or the Tenancy Deposit Scheme.
Ask your agent how much of a deposit you’ll be due to provide on the property, whether it’s a joint deposit or payable per tenant, and which deposit scheme it will be registered with.
How Does Summer Rent Work?
There’s no regular rule to how rent is handled with your property during the summer months before move-in. Sometimes, the previous tenants contracts will still be active, and as such they’ll stay there until move-out date, other times agents or landlords may ask for a ‘holding fee’ which is usually around half the rent to cover holding the empty property until you’re ready to move-in.
This can be a downfall for many students, who will suddenly be expected to finish paying off their halls rent at the same time as they start being charged a summer retainer for their September property. It’s always good to check this during your viewing – in our opinion (and we’re sure you’ll agree) it’s not great to be being charged rent when you’re not living in a property!
What Are The Tenants Responsibilities?
One of the biggest things that catches student tenants out is the small print that details their responsibilities at the property.
This can include things like mowing the lawn and keeping the garden tidy, through to allowing the landlord to perform an inspection monthly. Often these aren’t deal-breaking points, but worth being aware of – you don’t want to sign an agreement saying you’ll mow the lawn every fortnight, to find out there isn’t even a lawnmower!
You’ll find information like this within your tenancy agreement, which leads us onto the final question to ask during your viewings…
Do They Have A Sample Tenancy Agreement?
Once you’re happy with the questions you’ve asked and the answers you’ve been provided with, your final request should always be to have a sample tenancy agreement to review. These will always have standard clauses, however different agents and landlords might have slightly different stipulations relating to tenant responsibilities.
This also allows you to find out what type of tenancy you’re agreeing to. Some agreements will hold all tenants jointly responsible and liable for the property and collective rent payments – in other words, if your mates don’t pay up, you’ll be equally responsible to cover their rent and bills. The other, more ideal, contracts are individual agreements, where each tenant has their own direct contract with the agent or landlord, removing this collective responsibility, and ensuring that if someone decides to leave, your space in the property is still protected.
Make sure you get a physical copy then and there, or have one emailed over after the viewing, and take your time to have a good read through to understand what you’ll potentially be signing up to.
What To Do When You’re Ready To Rent?
Make Sure Everyone Agrees
Before rushing to the office to sign the dotted line and pay your deposit, make sure all of the tenants are agreed that this is the one you want to go for. It’s unfair to pressure someone into living in, and paying rent for, somewhere they aren’t looking forward to living.
Hear out any concerns and make a plan to counteract them if you can, such as trying to haggle the rent down, working out who would get which bedroom, etc.
Once you’ve all agreed, get in touch with the agents as soon as possible to make sure they know you’re interested. In most cases, if you express interest and arrange a time to come in and sign the paperwork, they’ll take it off the market and cancel any upcoming viewings. Bear in mind though, they don’t have to do this, and some will work on a first come first served basis, so try and get everyone together to sign ASAP.
Get All The Details In Writing
If you’ve been following along, you should already know all the details about your chosen student property, but now’s the time to get them all in writing and agreed with the landlord so there’s no opportunity for confusion later down the line.
Details you should agree in writing are:
- Rent, Deposit, Admin Fees and any Retainer Fees
- Tenancy Length, plus start and end dates
- Tenants responsibilities
- Who pays bills
Normally these will be included in your tenancy agreement, but if not, ask for them to be agreed in writing separately.
Book A Date To Move In!
Finally, the really exciting bit!
Agree on a date when you’ll collect the keys to your new student house and start moving in.
Most of the time you’ll be able to move-in from the start date of the tenancy, though if there’s a few renovations and repairs to be done, you might be held up a little, but you should be made aware of this before signing. As long as it isn’t majorly inconveniencing you, see this as a positive that the landlord cares enough about the property to fix it up before you move in 😀
We know that this has been a mammoth amount of information to digest, but now you’ve got this far, you’re so much wiser and fully prepared for upcoming property viewings.
Before we sign-off, here’s a quick roundup of the main checklist:
What To Look For When Viewing A House:
- Signs of Damp and Mould
- Security Features
- Proper Fire Safety
- Utility Supplies
- Proper Insulation
- Signs of Pests
- Included Furnishings
- Working Taps and Showers
- Adequate Power Outlets
- Good Phone Signal
- Existing Tenant Opinions
Questions To Ask When Viewing A House:
- Can I See The Energy Performance Certificate?
- Can I See The Gas Safety Certificate?
- Are Bills Included?
- Is There Parking?
- Is there an Inventory List?
- What Deposit Scheme Is Used?
- What Are The Tenants Responsibilities?
- Is There Summer Rent?
- Can I See A Sample Tenancy Agreement?
Good luck with your student property search. Finding a student home with your besties is a fabulous experience, so remember: enjoy yourselves!