10 Questions to Ask Before Renting a Student Property

A selection of key questions to ask before renting a student property

When you’re looking to rent a student property, you’ll want to gather as much information as possible about the flat or house before deciding to sign for it. To do this, it’s wise to ask as many questions as possible to ensure you’re well informed to make the right decision.

In this blog post, we’ve prepared some important questions you should ask before agreeing to rent a student property. 

How much are the bills?

The cost of utility bills can vary between properties, and some may even include the cost of bills within the contract. If bills aren’t included, you should try to get an idea of how much they will be so you can get an idea of what your monthly costs will be. 

How easy is it to get to university?

You’ll want to make sure you have easy access to university and aren’t having to travel for a long time every morning. If the property is located miles away from your campus and you don’t have a method of transportation, it might be worth considering a different property that is closer by. 

What’s nearby? 

Is the property in a good location in terms of things nearby? This is important, as you’ll want shops, transport links, as well as food and drink establishments close to your property. 

Students often need to rely on public transport to get to and from university and the city centre, so close by transport stops are an absolute essential. You also don’t want to be travelling for ages to do your food shopping, so a nearby supermarket is ideal. For students at Newcastle and Northumbria University, the most popular locations to live in include Jesmond, Heaton and Sandyford.  

What items of furniture and appliances are included?

Furnished student house

Student houses often come furnished, however, it’s worth clarifying exactly what furniture will be included in the rental agreement. Your letting agent or landlord will provide you with a full inventory once you have signed, but you’ll want to ask beforehand what furniture is included. 

In terms of appliances, most student houses come with an oven, a washing machine, and a fridge. However, it’s worth asking whether there are any other appliances included such as dishwashers and tumble dryers. If extra appliances are important to you, you’ll need to consider whether you can live without them or are able to get permission to install one. 

What is property’s security like?

It’s going to be highly important that you feel safe in your home, so you’ll want to ensure that the security of the student house is in top shape. You’ll want to check or ask whether all the locks are working correctly and whether the property has been properly fitted with a burglar alarm or even a CCTV system. 

It’s also good to be aware of the crime rate in the area that the house is located and to stay vigilant if anything untoward is reported nearby. 

What’s on the wall? 

Damp can be a huge problem in properties, especially if they are old. If you can see any suspect stains or patches on the wall, be sure to ask what they are, as you don’t want to be moving into a property that is covered in mould or damp. 

Are there working smoke detectors?

Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms (in rooms containing solid fuel burning appliances) are a legal requirement in rented properties, so it should be a given that these are installed. However, you’ll want to be sure that they are visible and in working order as this is also a requirement before the start of a new tenancy.

How is the signal?

WiFi is essential in this day and age, so you’ll want to be sure there is potential for fast broadband in the area. Sometimes, WiFi is included in the rent, so you can check the download and upload speeds in advance. You’ll also want to make sure that you can get phone signal, as there’s nothing more annoying than trying to use your phone from your own home when the signal keeps dropping. 

How is the property heated?

Student house heating

Student houses can get cold in winter, so you’ll want to be sure there is a heating system in place that can properly heat the house right through. Properties will usually either have a gas or an electric central heating system, and it’s worth keeping this in mind when considering how much your monthly costs could be. 

What is the length of the contract?

It’s almost always the case that student properties are only available for short-hold tenancy agreements which are usually 12 months, however, it’s worth double checking with the landlord before signing just to be completely certain. 

This list is just an example of some important things you might want to find out about a property before you agree to move in, however, you’ll likely have a few different questions of your own to ask.

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Terraced student house