|Looking Around Prospective Houses|
Here is a quick check-list of things to do when you are starting to look around houses:
· Try to visit houses of friends, so you have an idea of what to expect from a student house. Quality varies widely, but whilst you can't expect ensuite bathrooms and mahogany furniture, don't accept a house that is sub-standard. If a sofa or a bed looks a bit too dodgy and you want it replaced, ask – if the landlord agrees, get it in writing! Ask which bills are included, and ask to see Gas and Electricity certificates.
· Check that the house has all the things you need – appliances like fridge and cooker, and enough space for everyone to sleep and work and preferably a reasonable communal area. Ask which pieces of furniture and appliances come with the house and which don't – some tenants might be happy to sell things like a microwave or shelves on to you if you want them.
· Make sure the doors and windows are secure.
· Ask the current tenants about the landlord – do they respond quickly to problems? Are they generally helpful?
· Also ask them if there have been any burglaries since they've been in the house, or on that street.
· Ask for an indication of how much the bills are – that can help you budget.
· If you're totally happy with the house then there's no point hanging around – another group will probably take it! But if you're not so sure then it's not worth taking the plunge – keep looking!