Viewing Student Accommodation – A Guide

To make an informed decision and avoid common pitfalls, we've put together the ultimate guide for viewing student accommodation

Are you about to embark on the exciting journey of finding the perfect student accommodation? The prospect of new friends, newfound freedom, and a place to call home can be exhilarating. However, the search for the ideal student property can be overwhelming, especially with thousands of other students on the hunt for their perfect abode. To make an informed decision and avoid common pitfalls, we’ve put together the ultimate guide for viewing student accommodation. Let’s dive into our top 10 tips to ensure you find the perfect place to call your own.

Bills Included – A Crucial Factor for Rental Cost Assessment

When it comes to viewing student accommodation, one of the most critical factors to consider is whether bills are included in the cost of rent. This aspect is particularly relevant when exploring options like Unihomes. Here’s why it deserves your attention:

Unihomes and Inclusive Bills

Unihomes often offer inclusive bills, which can simplify your financial planning and reduce the stress of managing various expenses separately. However, it’s crucial to scrutinize what is covered under the inclusive bills package to ensure it aligns with your needs.

Clarity on Cost

Understanding what bills are included helps you calculate the total cost of living in a particular accommodation accurately. It allows you to budget effectively and avoid any unexpected financial surprises during your tenancy.

Comparing Affordability

By assessing whether bills are included, you can better compare the affordability of different housing options. Some properties might appear cheaper at first glance, but they could end up costing more when you factor in additional bills.

Financial Peace of Mind

Inclusive bills can provide peace of mind, knowing that you won’t have to juggle various utility payments each month. It simplifies your financial responsibilities, allowing you to focus on your studies and student life.

When viewing student accommodation, inquire about the details of the inclusive bills and how they are managed. This transparency ensures you have a clear understanding of your financial commitments and can make an informed decision about your chosen living space.

2. Location

Consider your comfort and safety when evaluating the location of student houses. Take a stroll in the neighbourhood to assess the following:

  • Safety: Are the surrounding roads well-lit, and do you feel safe walking alone at night?
  • Transport Links: Is there a nearby station, and what are the public transportation options?
  • Convenience: How close are essential amenities like shops?
  • Neighbours: Consider the type of neighbours; a young family may not appreciate loud house parties.

3. Pest Control

Nobody wants unexpected roommates like rodents or pests. During your viewing, keep an eye out for signs of pest issues, such as traps, droppings, or slug trails. If you spot any, bring it to the attention of the landlord or agent, or consider looking for alternative properties.

4. Safety First

Student houses are often targets for thieves. Check the security of the property, including the quality of locks on doors and windows. Inquire about the presence of a burglar alarm, as it’s not a legal requirement. Don’t forget to assess fire safety measures, such as smoke alarms and extinguishers, to ensure your well-being.

5. Furnishings & Appliances

Make a note of which appliances and furnishings are included in the accommodation. Ensure that everything you need, from beds to tables, is provided. Report any broken items to the landlord or agent for repair before moving in.

6. Water

Shared accommodation means shared bathrooms. Ensure that there are enough facilities to accommodate your housemates. Test the water pressure to avoid a frustrating dribbling shower.

7. WiFi

In today’s digital age, a reliable WiFi connection is essential. Ask about the strength of the internet and whether it covers all rooms in the house.

8. The Insulation

Stay warm without breaking the bank by checking for double-glazed windows, proper insulation, and a functional heating system. Well-insulated student housing can save you money on energy bills.

9. Be Wary of Freebies

Be cautious if landlords offer enticing freebies, as they may come at the cost of higher rent. Always assess the overall value before making a decision.

10. Speak to Existing Tenants

If possible, speak with current tenants to get an unbiased opinion about the property. Ask them about their experiences living there to ensure you’re making the right choice.

Why Proper Accommodation Viewing Is Important

When it comes to selecting your student accommodation, there’s no substitute for an in-person viewing. Property listings and images may differ from what’s shown online, sometimes due to factors like the timing of photographs or the presence of other tenants’ belongings. To be absolutely certain, you need to view the property in person.

Property Listings and Image Discrepancies

Property listings often feature images that showcase the property’s best aspects. However, these images may not always accurately represent the current condition or appearance of the accommodation. Here’s why viewing in person is essential:

Timing of Photographs

Images used in property listings might have been taken at a different time, perhaps before recent renovations or decoration. The property may look different in person due to updates or changes made since the photos were taken.

Tenant Belongings

In some cases, property images are captured with the belongings of current or previous tenants in place. This can create a misleading impression of the available space and layout. Viewing in person allows you to see the property without any obstructions or personal items.

The Only Way to Be Sure

While online resources like images and virtual tours provide valuable initial insights, viewing the accommodation in person is the only way to confirm its suitability for your needs. It allows you to assess the property’s current condition, layout, and ambiance accurately.

Don’t solely rely on what you see online; make the effort to visit potential accommodations. By doing so, you’ll make an informed decision and ensure that the place you choose truly meets your expectations.

What to Look for During Student Accommodation Viewings

During student accommodation viewings, consider the following factors:

  • Location: Proximity to your educational institution, safety, and convenience.
  • Room Size and Layout: Ensure it meets your needs and includes essential furniture.
  • Dampness and Mould: Check for signs of these issues.
  • Pest Issues: Look for any signs of infestations.
  • Facilities: Inspect appliances, water supply, and communal areas.
  • Internet and Utilities: Confirm the quality of the internet and included utilities.
  • Shared Spaces: Assess the condition and size of shared areas.
  • Safety Features: Verify the presence of alarms, detectors, and security features.
  • Energy Efficiency: Consider the environmental impact and energy certificates.
  • Landlord or Agent: Gauge their responsiveness and reliability.

Bonus Tips for a Successful Student Accommodation Viewing

Here are some additional tips to make the most of your accommodation viewings:

  • Schedule multiple viewings in one day to compare properties efficiently.
  • Bring a friend or family member for a second opinion.
  • Take photos or videos to help with comparisons.
  • Prepare a list of questions to ensure you gather all necessary information.

Viewing student accommodation is a crucial step in finding a comfortable and safe place to live during your studies. By following these guidelines and conducting thorough inspections, you’ll be well-prepared to select the perfect student housing for your needs. If you’re ready Remember, a well-informed decision leads to a happy and successful student life. Good luck with your search!

About Thornsett Properties

Thornsett Properties has been providing student accommodation in Crookesmoor since 1985, catering to over 650 students studying at Sheffield Uni and Sheffield Hallam Uni every year. As property owners, Thornsett Properties manages all properties directly, ensuring quality living experiences without relying on third parties. Our goal is to support students’ success while living and studying in Sheffield student accommodation.

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