Read the following questions one-by-one and by the time you get to the end of this document, you'll have a fair idea about what to look for in an accommodation, when taking this decision.
- Is the accommodation close to University?
- Are there shops nearby?
- Can you travel to your place late at night?
- What means of transport are available and at what times?
- Are there bus stops, health facilities, supermarkets and restaurants nearby?
- Are your friends residing close to your accommodation?
- If you do a part-time job, is your workplace nearby?
- Is the accommodation located in a safe area?
- How frequent are criminal activities in the neighborhood?
- Are burglar alarm systems and safety locks in place?
- Are the windows and other access points secure?
- Are fire alarms and extinguishers in working condition?
- Are emergency exits marked?
- Are CCTV cameras installed and working?
Condition of Accommodation
- Is the property properly cleaned?
- Have you met the tenants who recently moved out? (to get an idea about the problems with accommodation).
- Have you checked the walls for presence of mould? (areas around windows, wardrobes, ceilings, walls and wallpapers should be checked for flaking paint)
- Are there any signs of infestations? (check out for mice, rats, slugs, cockroaches etc.)
- Are maintenance services instantly available?
Water and Appliances
- Is the water pressure in taps optimum?
- Is the toilet flush in working condition?
- Are electrical appliances (fridge, fans, microwave, lights, plug sockets etc.) in working condition?
- Are you clear which appliances/objects are included in tenancy?
- Is the size/number of appliance(s) sufficient to meet the needs of group members who plan to live together?
- Is the furniture appropriately maintained? (Check the beds for broken springs etc.)
Heating, Ventilation, Air-conditioning and Insulation
- Is the heating system properly installed?
- Are radiators in working condition?
- Are boilers new or old?
- Are windows double-glazed?
- Are exhaust fans in working condition?
- Have you chosen the right group of friends?
- Are you sure you are not making this decision in a hurry?
- Is the landlord using “pressure-tactics” to make you sign an agreement?
- Have you met the ‘landlord’ or the ‘manager’ of accommodation in person? Will they be available in emergencies?
- Is there a student letting agent involved? If so, how much is the agent’s fee?
- Are “energy bills” included in the rent? (They are perhaps the biggest financial burden for students)
- Is the landlord providing everything that was mentioned in advertisement?
- Are TV and Internet connection included in tenancy?
- A huge flat screen television, a leather sofa or other similar attractions may be used by landlords to cover their deficiencies or to increase the rent of property. Are you sure you are not being tricked into choosing an accommodation by showing such attractions?
- Has the landlord informed you when to move in?
- Have you and your friends read and understood the terms of tenancy that are mentioned in the agreement?
- Has the landlord provided you a copy of the Gas Safety certificate?
- Will sharers sign a single/common tenancy agreement or will every sharer sign an individual tenancy agreement?
- Are you renting in a non-student area? If so, a ‘break clause' inserted in the agreement will allow you to end the tenancy after 6 months have passed (by serving 2 months' notice).
- How does the landlord expect you to pay the rent?
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