A handy guide to house viewings
This handy guide is fresh from our accommodation talks undertaken around halls of residence. If you weren’t lucky enough to get a physical flyer, here is an online one instead!
What to look out for when you’re in a viewing:
- Are there any large mold/ damp patches
If there is only a little bit, for example, on the windowsills in the bathroom, this will be easy to fix yourself. You don’t want to take on somewhere which could be seriously bad for your health!
- Is the house very draughty?
This is likely to mean that the costs to heat your house will be much higher and you may end up spending a lot more on bills than you’d like to!
Don’t confuse the manner of how the current tenants keep their house with the overall upkeep by the landlord. If lots of furniture or appliances look very old/broken or the paint and carpets look uncared for, this suggests the landlord doesn’t take as much of an interest in this property. If they clearly show a care for the upkeep of the building, then this may be more indicative of how pleasant it will be to correspond with them about issues and even what it would be like to live there!
Have a think about what questions you might want to ask the landlord, or even the current tenants if they’re showing you round. They are more likely to be specific/honest about any problems they have encountered while living there!
Some questions to get you started:
- Is the property gas or electric or both?
- What is a rough example of the cost of bills? If there is an energy cap, are you likely to go over it whilst living here?
This will help you look at costs holistically.
- How many instalments do they ask for your rent?
For example, if they want the first 6 months up front, this may not be manageable with when your student loan payments come in.
Your journey to the house viewing will be an indication of how easy it is to access this from the center of town. If it was a relatively long walk, don’t be put off as bus travel is cheap and even free with the young Scot U22 card!
Some things to remember:
Don’t give over any money before a contract is signed. A good landlord will NOT push you to sign a contract immediately.
Go to a viewing with a friend (not just for your own safety but it is always helpful to have a second opinion)
Don’t be disheartened if you aren’t successful for this flat/house. In St. Andrews, demand is quite high, so it is normal to have several viewings before you find the one right for you!