Ready to move out of halls and into your first student house? Looking for a new place to live can be extremely daunting, especially if you’ve never been through the process before and sometimes it can be difficult to know where to start. To help simplify things we’re sharing the seven essential house hunting tips for students looking to snap up their dream digs!
- Choose who you’re going to live with carefully
It’s important to carefully consider who to share your student house with as you’re going to be spending a lot of time together and seeing someone for an hour or two a week is a very different experience to sharing a space and being around them daily. Make sure the group you choose get on well and there are no obvious character clashes as there’s nothing worse than living in a house where you constantly have to step on eggshells!
- Create a checklist
Once you’ve decided who you’re going to live with, the next step is to get together and discuss what you want your student accommodation to include. Everyone is guaranteed to have differing opinions on this so it’s a good idea to draw up a list of non-negotiables that your new digs have to match up to. Whether that’s a certain location or a set number of bathrooms, having this list helps you to narrow down your options and avoid wasting time looking at houses which don’t make the cut. Just remember that living with other people often means compromising so en-suites and jacuzzi tubs probably won’t be an option!
- Work out Your budget
One of the most important elements to work out ahead of viewing any properties is what you can actually afford as a group. Again, it’s likely that there will be differing answers here depending on whether some of your new housemates have part time jobs or receive student loans so it’s crucial to come to a decision that suits everyone's budget. Don’t forget that you will need to account for paying bills too so make sure to enquire whether they are included in the overall monthly cost.
- Don’t leave it until the last minute
It’s easy to think that there’s still plenty of time until the next academic year rolls around but the best properties get snapped up quickly and if you don’t want to be lumbered with the leftovers then it’s best to start looking as soon as possible. December and January are is our busiest time for student properties and we have a great selection of homes ready to welcome new occupants over on our website!
- Use a reputable Letting Agent
As this will usually be your first venture into renting property it’s important to choose a reputable letting agent who is going to handle your tenancy professionally. Unfortunately, the lettings industry is currently unregulated meaning that anyone can set up and trade as a letting agent without any knowledge, experience, training, and with very little insurance but here at Dwell we've been licensed and accredited with the industry's regulating body, ARLA Propertymark since the day we started. It’s definitely something to look out for when you’re choosing your student accommodation to avoid facing any issues further down the line.
- Go for viewings
It’s easy to think you’ve seen enough from the property listing online if it’s got a bunch of nice looking images but you should always try to go for a viewing in person. If the whole group can’t make it to the viewing due to varying timetables appoint a couple of as many representatives as possible and make sure they take lots of pictures and videos which can be shown to the rest of the group afterwards. When viewing a property you should be keeping an eye out for any damp, making sure that the heating works adequately, that the doors and windows are secure and clarifying which pieces of furniture are included with the house.
- Have your deposit ready
Once you’ve found your dream student house you will be asked by your letting agent to put down a deposit to secure the property. To avoid this coming as a shock, make sure to ask how much it is when you’re viewing the property as all letting agents have different policies when it comes to deposits. It’s also a good idea to be prepared for this stage of the process and make sure all members of the group have access to the money as you don’t want to end up missing out on the perfect property because of delays in sorting out the deposit!
So there we have it, our essential house hunting tips for students! Good luck if you’re just starting your property search, we hope you find the perfect digs to see you through the next academic year and if you’re based in Leeds be sure to get in touch to find out if we have any suitable properties available or check out the current listings on our website.