1. Location, location, location
Location is crucial when choosing your student property. Figure out how close the student house is to bus stops, newsagents, supermarkets, doctors, and your university campus. Most students want to be where all the house parties are, but remember that these areas don’t always boast the nicest homes. Think carefully about whether you are willing to sacrifice a nicer house for a more lively location.
2. Security and safety
Security and safety are issues that must be taken seriously. House security ties in with location. Do some research on the area to find out how safe it is, especially at night. Houses on well-lit main roads are often the most secure. Quiet areas may appeal to some students, but they can have their downsides when it comes to crime. Also, remember to check that the property has working fire alarms and fire blankets. There must also be clearly marked emergency exits. If you will be living in a group of 5 or more students, the landlord will be required to abide by stringent HMO regulations. They exist for your safety and comfort, so check up on what they involve with your local council or with Unipol.
3. Electrical appliances
Don’t be afraid to check if appliances cater sufficiently for your needs as a group and are in working order. Be clear on what’s included in the Tenancy (e.g. microwave). Bear in mind the size or number of appliances for the size of your group. One fridge or freezer between six students will be far too small. Also, be wary of dodgy looking plug sockets and loose cables and make sure that there are enough in each room to run all of your appliances.
4. The water supply
Groups of students will be using the bathroom several times a day. Poor water pressure does not make for a happy household! When viewing, turn on the taps and make sure it’s more than a dribble.
5. Furnishings and fittings
As mentioned above, have a clear idea of what is included in the Tenancy and what is not. A nice leather sofa might be the selling point, but it might not be there come summer time. Be aware that Landlords must provide each tenant with a suitable desk and chair (if advertised as a student house). If possible, check bed mattresses for broken springs which become dangerous and uncomfortable over time.
6. Check insulation
Everyone knows that energy bills are one of the biggest costs for students (if you don’t have them included in your rent). Making sure that the house is well insulated could make a difference of cost in bills throughout the year. What you are essentially looking for is double glazed windows, secure doors, any drafty spots and a good heating system. To take the hassle out of bills why not take a look at our range of All-Inclusive Bills packages. Our Concierge package offers unlimited utilities. Click here to find out more.
7. Talk to existing tenants
Nobody has a better idea of what the house is like than the current tenants. They are likely to offer an unbiased and realistic account on what the house is like as a fellow student. A really good insight can come from simply asking them: “So, what’s the best and worst thing about this house?” If they seem pretty happy then that’s the best testimony you can get in knowing the house will be equally suitable for you.
8. After the viewing
i) Act quickly – once you have selected your house and everyone is in agreement, it is important not to waste any time and let the letting agency know. In our peak season, we can have up to 60 viewings of the same student property in a couple of days, so act quickly to ensure that you don’t lose out on your dream pad.
ii) Sort out your Tenancy Agreement – a Tenancy Agreement is a contract between you and a Landlord. It lets you live in the property as long as you pay rent and follow the rules. It also sets out the legal terms and conditions of your Tenancy so it important that you read the agreement.
If you have seen a property that you would like to view, Let Leeds would be happy to arrange this for you. Please call our dedicated Student Team on 0113 322 9324.
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