Top Tips for House Viewings
Finding the perfect place to live during university can be an exciting time, but also a stressful one. Often, once you have found an accommodation you like the look of, you can have an in-person viewing. This is a super important part of the process, and one where you need to take in all the details. There are certain factors to look out for that will ensure you're making the right decision on where to live.
Here are some of our top things to keep an eye out for when viewing a property.
The first, and possibly the most obvious one is where it is! This should be somewhere you have considered when booking the viewing, but consider how close it is to things like supermarkets or your campus. Often those further away from popular areas (such as University campuses) are less expensive, so it is up to you and your flatmates to decide how important proximity is for you all.
Another thing to consider is the area itself. Does it seem noisy? Is it on a busy road? Are there restaurants and bars nearby? If you thrive on hustle bustle this might be great for you, but if you fancy a quieter lifestyle, then definitely see what is around.
2. Size and Number of Bedrooms/Bathrooms
This may seem like common sense, but it's important you imagine you, all your stuff and your flatmates fitting into the property. If it seems like it might be a bit too cozy for your liking, then you may need to find something bigger!
Similarly, are there enough bathrooms for what you need? Hopefully you have already made sure there are enough bedrooms, but having more than one bathroom can really speed things up at 9am when you are all rushing to lectures!
This property, and your room specifically, will be your home for at least a year, if not longer, so it is important you can see yourself living there. You can get excited by imagining what posters you can put up where, and what duvet set will look the best. For more on this, read our blog.
It is also likely that not all rooms will be the same size or layout, and some will be a bit (subjectively) better than others. You could try and find a property where they all are similar, but if you can't, don’t let room allocation cause friction and use our top tips to make the process smooth:
3. Condition of the Property
Inspect the overall condition of the flat. Look for signs of dampness, mold, or leaks on walls, ceilings, and around windows. This is unfortunately quite common for properties, especially in winter, so if your viewing is in the warmer months it can be helpful to talk to previous tenants and find out their experience. If this is something you are struggling with in your current property, check out our blog on how to get this sorted.
4. Safety and Security
Feeling safe in your university accommodation is so important and it really matters. Ensure the property has secure locks on both doors and windows. This includes the main doors like front and back, and also bedroom and bathroom doors if the property has them.
Check if there are smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and other safety features installed. These should be tested regularly and should never be turned off.
5. Energy Efficiency
Consider the energy efficiency of the flat. Bills can be more expensive if a property isn't efficient so ask questions such as are the windows insulated? Is there efficient heating and safe insulation? You could also ask your landlord for an EPC rating, which is an energy performance measure.
6. Landlord or Rental Agency
You will probably have to interact with your landlord a few times throughout your tenancy, with either questions or complaints, so how good they are is key. Assess their responsiveness, reliability, and friendliness. This can be done just by seeing how they show you round, are over emails or over the phone or you can ask previous tenants. For more on landlord/tenant relationships, check out our blog.
Remember, finding the right flat is a big decision, so take your time and don't be scared to ask questions during the viewing. Take notes and pictures to help you compare different properties, and to make sure you don’t forget anything. Good luck!
Don’t forget to check out all the properties we have on our website!