Year on year we hear horror stories about students being swindled, mis-sold, or ending up otherwise disappointed in their accommodation.
Here are a few tips and key things to look for when house hunting for you next student digs.
Set a budget
This one is fairly obvious, but it still needs to be said. Knowing what you are and aren’t willing to spend before you start looking for places helps you to effectively narrow down your search.
There’s no right or wrong budget, however I found a maximum of £400 a month for rent left me with plenty of decent options.
As with most things, you get what you pay for. Don’t let low prices tempt you in to sub-par housing, and on the other side, make sure to be wary of high rent prices for places that don’t live up to their price tag.
Don’t rely on the pictures
Again a fairly obvious one, but the best way to truly assess whether or not you like a place is to go and physically see it.
Photos in estate agents’ windows or websites can often be misleading and leave you feeling deflated when you come to see the reality.
Pictures do help you assess whether or not to go for somewhere, but go and actually see it once, twice, maybe even a third time before you commit.
Don’t get disheartened
You’ve set your budget, you like the photos, you’ve booked a viewing, but when you turn up you find the place to be below your expectations – this happens.
When this happens, the key is to remain patient, and don’t get put off future house hunting. Set backs are normal, and can be incredibly helpful. Disappointing viewings can help you positively identify what you are and aren’t looking for.
When looking for student housing, chances are the first place you look will not be the house you go for. It may well be the fourth, fifth, sixth or even seventh plus place you go to view.
The agent or landlord showing you round their property should have an in-depth knowledge on everything about the property. Don’t be afraid to ask about deposits, bills, furniture, rent etc.
Asking questions to your landlord or estate agent serves two very useful purposes. The first, and most obvious, is that you can put to rest any worries or uncertainties you have about the house. The second, and perhaps more useful purpose of being inquisitive, is that you get the opportunity to sound out your estate agent or landlord, and work out whether or not they know their stuff – if they don’t seem knowledgeable, don’t go for the house, because the chances are they won’t know what to do were any problems to arise.
Not a comprehensive list at all, but just a few tips to point you in the right direction when you next find yourself house hunting. Put them to good use, and find the perfect student accommodation for you.