What to look for when viewing a property

Sophia Crothall·6 December 2023·6 min read
What to look for when viewing a property

Viewing a property as a student can sometimes be tricky. You might not have the expertise and knowledge to know what you need to look or look out for. But don’t worry; that’s precisely why we’ve put together this guide. 

Without further ado, here are some things to look for when viewing a property as a student:


First things first, make sure you research where the property is located and how close it is to your University. Be sure to ask about public transport and how easy it is to commute. It will also be essential that you have supermarkets nearby, to save you some extra money for travelling back and forth for food shopping. If this is your first time attending university and you have a hard time deciding what you will need to bring, this blog will be of much help!

Property layout

This one is more relevant if you share your accommodation with other roommates. The property's layout sometimes can be misshaped, rugged or not fit for sharing. Next time you view a property, keep in mind how the space will be shared, if it’s big enough and if it’s divided well enough to allow for house-sharing and privacy. 


Most students look for places with furniture included for obvious reasons. The more furniture, the better it will be for you. However, make sure you will at least have the essentials, such as a bed, clothing storage (cupboard, chest of drawers, walk-in closet), a desk for studying, a table for eating and a sofa for relaxing if you have a living space. 

That being said, some things to look out for are the bed frames and mattresses. 

Buying new ones can be costly. When you view a property, check that the bed frame and mattress are not broken or stained. These can be pinned as your fault if you end up signing for the property, which could mean you lose your deposit or will have to replace them. Always keep your eyes open! 


Some places provide good amenities and go out of their way to ensure you have everything you need as a student. Some things to ask for are the essentials you will need, such as a washing machine and a dryer, a hoover, cooker and oven, and depending on your needs, maybe a kettle and microwave too. If anything is missing from the property, ask if they can provide it. 

Signs of mould and damp

Damp properties cause mould, and mould is very toxic to humans. It can cause respiratory problems on top of other health risks. Damp can be visible as brown or yellow stains on walls. The pain on the walls might also look like it’s bubbling up. It’s best practice to ask about any concerns that you may have. 

When it comes to mould, a damp, musty odour might be present on the property. This is a big red flag, as it means there’s much of it. If you can smell it, but you can’t see it, it might be that it has been painted over, which is a bad sign that the landlord or agency is not making efforts to combat the problem but rather covering it up. Again, if you have concerns, you can ask about humidity levels in the property, any previous mould issues and if they have been addressed. Better safe than sorry!

Ask about the boiler

The boiler is responsible for central heating and hot water. This is essential to a property, so ensure you ask about how old it is, if it’s being regularly maintained and if they’ve had any complaints from previous tenants about this. This would also have to be disclosed in the documents you will sign, so keep an eye out. 

Security and locks

If you are vulnerable or living alone, consider looking for something with security measures in place. If the property you’re viewing doesn’t have anything obvious, make sure you ask, as it may be something they can add if requested, even if it’s something as small as a ring doorbell. 

It might be a good idea to ask about the locks and keys if any previous tenants have left with copies. In that case, you can request a doorknob change for your safety. 


Before you commit, make sure you understand who’s responsible for paying the bills and maintenance costs if there will be any cosigners, but also look for any hidden fees in the contracts and be aware of the contract termination terms and costs. 

It’s also important that you do not rush signing your documents and ensure you have a proper read through the contract. If there’s anything you disagree with or would like to discuss, you can do that before you sign. If you’re feeling stressed about the move-in time, here are some guidelines for when you can move into your first-year accommodation. 

To sum up, put your needs first and make sure you make your life as a student as stress-free as possible by having all the essentials in place within the property, and don’t be afraid to ask for anything extra as part of the deal. To make your life easier, you can always use filters to search for your accommodation. You can look straight for only places with bills included, or other amenities. 

Start searching now! You’ve got this!