Finding a student house can be a daunting task. Often moving in with your friends is your first time away from the nest, and the first step into the adult world. Bills, landlords and contracts can be perplexing, and you might be unsure of what to look out for, and what aspects of a house and garden are important to get right. To help clear the confusion, we’ve put together this essential viewing checklist to make sure you get yourself the perfect student house.
Assess the location
Arguably the most important aspect of choosing your new student digs is the location, which can make or break your enjoyment of a new home. As a student, it’s vital that your property is close to the location of your lectures and key transport links to access nightlife. You also need to make sure there are adequate, and affordable, food shopping opportunities around. It might also be worth checking the crime statistics for that local area, as this may also affect your decision.
Record the viewing
Don’t feel awkward about taking pictures or making notes. When viewing several houses in a row it’s easy to forget what you’ve seen for comparison purposes, so it’s always wise to bring along a camera or notepad.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions
Ask plenty of questions, especially to current tenants who should be able to give you an honest insight into what it’s like to live in that particular house. If you’re stuck, you might want to ask about what their favourite and least favourite things are about living there. Also prepare a list of technical questions to ask the agency or landlord.
Examine the safety measures
Don’t become another statistic; make sure you are clued up on all the safety measures included on the premises, such as outside safety lights, presence of fire extinguishers and operational burglar and fire alarms. Ask the relevant person if the gas safety certificate is up to date, and ensure that the windows are lockable.
Survey the exterior
A quick check for damage to the roof, doors and guttering may save you a lot of hassle and emergency repairs in the future. You may also want to discuss with your future housemates whether having a decent-sized garden is important to you or not, and also to establish whether you or the landlord is responsible for the upkeep.
Check the plumbing and heating
Don’t be afraid to flush the toilets and turn on the taps during your visit – it’s essential that you check all the plumbing is in correct working order before signing anything. Additionally, make sure that the house has adequate heating, and ask about any double glazing or insulation measures that are in place, as these measures may save you some cash in the long run.
Look out for pests and damp
Slug trails or mouse droppings are a sure sign that this house could potentially be experiencing a pest problem. Also look out for damp and mould on the walls, ceilings and behind furniture. The last thing you want is to move into a mould-riddled house, as this won’t be good news for your health.
Ask which furniture and appliances are included
When viewing a house, you can’t always be sure that what you’re seeing will be present when you move in. Ask the agency or landlord to provide a list of the furniture and appliances that are included with the house, as this will allow you to get organised and plan what you need to bring in September.
Determine your storage options
Sometimes students aren’t comfortable with leaving expensive equipment in a student house over the holidays, but they also don’t want the trouble of transporting it back to their parents’ home either. In these instances it is worth investigating self storage options; there are companies available who will provide safe and secure storage facilities for a reasonable price, giving you the freedom to leave your costly items in your student city, but also in a place that is completely protected.
If you’re looking for a safe place to store your personal belongings, then look no further than Simply Storage. Proudly serving the South West London and Surrey areas including Surbition, Wimbledon and Worcester Park, we offer low price comprehensive storage options for students to securely store their valuable belongings over the holidays. For more information, just give our friendly team a call and they will be happy to help.