It's easy to get distracted when you're looking at houses by thinking about whether you'd fit all your clothes in the small bedroom, but pay attention...
There are lots of things you need to look for and think about!
Thought figuring out who to live with seemed stressful? Well, now it's time for the real stuff to start:
- Take notes/photos
There is a LOT to take in so pull out your phone and make a note of important things you're told and try to take in as much as possible. Having photos to look at is helpful when looking back and thinking about which house is best for you.
- Try speak to current tenants
Fingers crossed, you're lucky enough to book a viewing when the tenants are in - use this to your advantage! Ask them what they like and don't like about living there, how much the bills cost and any advice they have.
- Look out for any serious issues
Check the walls, ceilings, corners and cupboards for signs of damp, mould, broken furniture and pests being in the property. Come to an agreement with the landlord that any issues will be resolved BEFORE you move in.
- Could you study there?
Have a look for space where you could study from home. Is there a table in the living room or is there enough room on desks in the bedrooms? If not, prepare yourself for trips to the library!
- Is there enough space?
Think about all your and your flatmates' things (yes, you may need to have a bit of a clearout), the kitchen space available, the fridge/freezer, the number of bathrooms/toilets - realistically will it work for all of you?
- Ask about the Energy Performance Certificate
Ask the landlord/estate agent because it'll help you understand how warm (or not so warm) the house will be in winter, so you can prepare for how much you'll need to spend on heating bills or extra layers!
Look for signs on how secure the house is to give you peace of mind when you live there. Any locks on the bedroom doors? Does it have a burglar alarm? It's worth asking if the house comes with any insurance so you know if you need to sort this out yourself.
Did you know: whilst living in university halls, you automatically get contents cover inside your room provided by Endsleigh, the number 1 student insurer? A number of accommodation partners in Manchester also include this for their students, so make sure to ask if they include the cover. You can arrange an individual policy for both your contents and/or your gadgets.
- Double check what's included
The house may look furnished but it could be what the current tenants have provided themselves. Ask if things like the ironing board, hoover, microwave, kettle and TV are provided so you don't have any surprises when you move in!
- Get it in writing!
If you're promised any repairs, decorating and improvements before you move in, make sure you get this in writing (either in the contract or via email) so you have a paper trail if anything isn't sorted when you move in.
- What's the rush?
Look at a few different houses before making any decisions! The first house you see might seem perfect but shop around instead of impulse buying - you could regret it.
If you're needing any help, get in touch with Manchester Student Homes who can help you find accredited landlords, agents and private halls.