House hunting can be stressful and bewildering, but if you get it right you’ll have a much better year next year!! I thought I’d share my tips on what I’ve found it’s important to consider, although this is by no means a definitive list!
- Mould/damp – this is pretty important to look out for. You’ll be house hunting during your first term usually and if there’s already signs of mould or damp it’s likely this is a continuous problem with the house and is probably best avoided. No one enjoys living in a damp house it usually smell musty, makes it harder to get your clothes properly dry and mould can be a health risk!
- Security – Do the doors all lock securely and the side gate if there is one? Student properties are often targets for burglaries and not having a secure property will only make this more likely. It’s ideal if the door locks automatically behind you because you won’t have to worry about your housemates leaving the door unlocked (just remember your key!!).
- Furniture – does the furniture in the rooms come with the property or is the current tenants? There’s no use picking a house because you love that amazing desk or bookshelf and then finding it’s not there when you move in.
- Silverfish/mice/etc – you will always hear horror stories about pests in student homes. Make sure this isn’t you, be sure to keep an eye out around the edge of rooms/in cupboards for droppings or any signs of unwelcome inhabitants.
- Double glazing and heating – If at all possible get a house or flat with double glazing and radiators in each room. It will be far quieter and warmer than single glazing is. Also keep you eye out for badly fitted doors or windows which let drafts in from outside.
- Location – think about where you want to live. There’s no use having a great house if you’re miles from uni or the nearest shop!! Once you start having to trek home with your food shop you won’t love that brand new fancy house so much!! Clarendon Park is a popular area with Uni of Leicester students and it’s a really nice area to live with lots of cute shops and cafes – check out recent post on the best places to eat here.
- Repairs – if you notice anything broken but want a house other than that agree that it will be fixed before you move in and have it written into the contract before you sign it.
- Bike storage – if anyone in your house is going to have a bike is there any secure bike storage, like a basement or shed? It’s not ideal if your housemate deciding to keep their bike in you lounge or kitchen for the year.
- Once you find one you like act fast – house go quickly at this time of year so if you all love one don’t spend days deciding what to do! Reserve it ASAP!!
I hope these help you with some ideas of what to look out for. Don’t let pushy letting agents rush you, take your time to look at the property properly and if possible speak to the current tenants about how they find it! Also try and get someone to look over your contract who understand the legal obligations before you sign it and use reputable estate agents. Finally think about what bills and Wi-Fi will cost on top of the rent and factor that into your budget.