Survival Guide.


House Hunt

Need help transitioning from halls to house? Look no further for tips and info on this sometimes somewhat stressful yet inevitable student rite of passage.

Moving out of halls and into a house can be puzzling as there are so many things to think about and sort out.

Unipol is Leeds’ student’s hero when it comes to moving house. Unipol is not only a housing agency but also a charity working to ensure high standards and professionalism are maintained where student housing is concerned. Check out their website for more information: www.unipol.org.uk.

When looking for a house or flat to move into, you need to make sure that you’re making the right choice. Here are some things to look out for:

— Damp: a common haunt in student housing. Signs include mouldy areas, bubbling wallpaper/paint, a distinct smell, water running down walls and excessive condensation on windows.
— Do appliances work?
— Ask the current tenants about the experience with their agency/landlord and the house itself.
— Ask the cost of the rent per week, the cost of the deposit (also known as the ‘bond’) and if there are any other fees.
— Be sure you know the terms of the contract. If any work needs doing on the house ensure it is stated as part of the terms of your contract, in writing.
— Negotiate moving in/moving out dates. A common problem in Leeds is that tenancies finish at midday on 30th June but only start at midday on 1st July. So what do you do with your stuff during the night in between if you don’t want to haul it all back home? If you can, negotiate your contract to finish on 1st July because if you want to move again the following year, you don’t want to be caught short for those 24 hours.

Unipol have a very helpful house viewing checklist that you could print out and take with you on any property viewings. Unipol has a set of standards for student houses. Ensure your house is up to the Unipol standard by sticking to this list.

When you look around any property I recommend taking a camera, or even just taking some quick snaps on your phone. In the heat of the moment (especially if it’s your first time) you can quickly come away from a place and forget the details. How big was that living room again? Where we’re the power sockets? A few photos can really help remind you of the layout, general size and some of the finer details. Very helpful if you look around a few properties in quick succession.

A final piece of encouragement and one that I have found so helpful every time I’ve moved is that you should feel no pressure to make a decision on your first viewing. It is likely that a landlord will push you to sign there and then claiming that they have many more interested parties and that the house is proving very popular. Don’t fall into the temptation that you should make a decision that will effect 12 months of your life after only a few minutes looking around a property and a brief conversation.
If you do feel like the house is suitable then I recommend still going away and discussing it with everyone who will be living there, even if it’s just for 30 minutes or so round the corner at the pub. You can then call up the landlord and arrange to sign, or even book a second viewing.

If you have any further hints and tips or thinks to watch out for when moving house feel free to list them in the comments.

Categories: Help, Houses, Resources Posted on Friday 4th February 2011 at 11:37 by Harriet Jones

House Hunt Image 1

Up ArrowPhotograph © upperendproperties.com


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