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When viewing student houses, it’s important to ask the right questions. These will help you determine whether the place is truly right for you

They’ll also help you determine what sort of service the accommodation providers offer.

6 Questions to Ask When Viewing Student Houses

Are Bills Included in Student Accommodation?

Sometimes, the price agencies quote is all-inclusive. The price you pay will cover everything: rent, bills, insurance, the lot! But sometimes, agencies will only quote for the price of the accommodation. The price you pay will cover the roof over your head, and nothing more. You’ll have to cover everything else yourself.

At Uni2, all of our properties have bills included but the same can’t be said for all lettings agents. If the agency expects you to pay separately for bills, it’s also worth asking what the average price is for bills in the area. This should give you a good idea of exactly how much it will cost you to live in the property, as unexpected bills can be a nasty surprise.

How Do You Pay Rent?

This is another question that’ll help you work out whether you can actually afford the place. Some agencies collect rent weekly. Others do it monthly, and some allow you to make a lump-sum payment every term. Each of these arrangements will affect your budgeting, so it’s important that you enter into a rental agreement that works for you.

At the same time, ask about the deposit. How much is it? How is it protected? And most important of all, how quickly will the agency return your deposit should they find there’s nothing wrong with the property?

Are There Any Known Problems with the Property?

You’ll get a good idea of the property’s condition while viewing it. Look out for any glaring problems, such as damp, mould, or other signs of extensive disrepair. But it’s also important to ask about the sort of problems you might not be able to see, and the sort of work the agency has planned to address these problems.

For example, the property may have a history of subsistence, which might require some work before long. Or, the landlord might be intending to get new windows, or a new boiler. This might mean you’ll have to put up with some problems for a short while, and with some disruption once the landlord gets round to fixing the issue.

At the same time, it’s worth asking about the repairs process in general. How long do they usually take? And should you report to the agency, or directly to the property’s landlord? Can you arrange to make repairs yourself, on the understanding that the agency will reimburse you later?

How Do You Manage the Property on an Ongoing Basis?

First, ask if the property has an inventory, and ask what’s included on it. Even if it’s not a furnished property, there may be various fixtures and fittings you’ll have to keep in good condition if you want to get your deposit back. Also ask whether the inventory features pictures and descriptions of the various items, as this will help you determine the standards you’ll have to maintain to retain your deposit.

Next, ask about inspections. Most agencies carry out periodic inspections. You’ll want to know how frequently they do it, and how much notice they give. Also, find out whether the agency requires for you or your friends to be present for inspections, as this isn’t always the case!

What’s the Area Like?

Is this a safe place to live? What are the crime rates like? What about the noise levels? And have there ever been any problems with the neighbours?

If the agency seems reluctant to talk about these issues, then it might indicate that there’s something they’re not willing to mention!

What’s the Leaving Process Like?

First, ask about the cancellation terms. If you need to drop out of the rental agreement for whatever reason, what sort of fees will the agency charge, and how much notice do you need to give?

Also, some agencies will only rent to students for one year at a time, as they assume that you’ll move to different accommodation each term. But if you really like the property and the area, you might want to stay for longer. So ask about it! Ask them if they’ll let you stay for longer if you wish, or if there’s a set limit on the length of the rental contract.

Any Questions?

Please note that this list isn’t exhaustive! We were once students too so these are just the basic questions we would have wanted to know about our student accommodation. You might have more to ask depending on the accommodation, and on your specific circumstances. For example, you may have to ask about accessibility, or about parking arrangements and other amenities.

If you’re looking for safe and reliable student accommodation in Nottingham, we’re here for you. We’re a little bit different. We only deal with students and are all recent graduates ourselves, so we know exactly what students want and need out of accommodation.

Head here to find student accommodation in Nottingham that’s sure to tick all of your boxes.

Posted 04.06.21
Ed Henderson

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