Entering the unknown and murky world of student housing, there are a range of potential pitfalls that less savvy students may fall into.
For the majority of students, finding their new student house with their friends is both exciting and somewhat unnerving dependent on the type of landlord and/or agent you meet.
More often than not you will be rushed round the viewing in no more than ten minutes, before being given the hard sell of the number of viewings they have had on this particular property, so if you want the property you will have to decide quickly.
From numerous years of experience, I have provided 7 handy hints and tips for things to look out for and where to focus your attention when choosing your student house to ensure you arenít talked into a student house which doesnít meet your requirements.
1) Photograph & Record: When viewing the property, be sure to ask whatís included in the property along with any additional utilities included in the rental price. Ideally you should take plenty of pictures of each room and record the whole viewing process with a Dictaphone so any questions and answers throughout the viewing are on tape.
2) Spend a lot of time looking around the bathroom(s): This is where you will be spending a lot of your time. Look for any signs of previous leakages not repaired, damp issues not re decorated, discolouration to the sealant and grouting around the bath and shower area as well as the shower pressure. Ideally all of the mentioned items will be to a good standard but if not you can make conditional requests to the landlord prior to moving in.
3) Look out for damp: Damp can spread quickly if suitable precautions are not in place to prevent it from becoming apparent in the first place. It can have health implications as well as make the decor of the house look very dirty and unwelcoming. Ideally, suitable extraction vents will be present in bathroom and kitchens as well as double glazed windows which can be opened easily.
4) Have a look at and inspect the boiler: The age and condition of the boiler is a great way to determine how well the landlord looks after the property. An ideal scenario is to have a reasonably new electric boiler as these are generally more reliable than gas boilers and will keep utility costs down.
5) Check all electrical appliances are working: This is of particular importance in the kitchen where you will be spending a lot of your time. Are all the electrical appliances reasonably new and operating as they should be. Have these electrical appliances been PAT tested in the last 12 months. If not, donít be afraid to request a stipulation in your tenancy agreement that all electrical appliances must be working on the day of your move and if broken will be replaced within a set amount of days.
6) Is the property safe: It is well known that thieves often target student areas, so ensure the property is securely equipped to deal with any attempted break ins. Ensure there are things like double locking mechanisms on the front and back doors, window sensors, working alarm and good lighting to the front and back of the property.
7) View the property more than once: If interested in a particular property from your first viewing, view the property again on a different day and at a different time. This should hopefully enable you to identify any potential disturbances and parking restrictions that maybe become apparent once moved in.
Remember, the property you choose you will be contracted to for at least 6 months and upwards so ensure you view it thoroughly, take pictures and record conversations whilst viewing the property.
View a selection of properties from different agents to ensure the price your paying is the achievable market rent for the property you decide on.
If you require any additional advice or assistance please feel free to contact us via the following link, (http://bit.ly/12spNC6).