Follow this guide to house viewings and you’re sure to find somewhere that gets you excited for September

For those of you currently living in blissful ignorance about how hard it is to find a yard in Bristol, welcome to reality

If you’re starting to think about housing for your next year at uni, and you’re lucky enough to have found a group and some potential houses, this article is for you.

For those of you currently living in blissful ignorance about how hard it is to find a yard in Bristol, welcome to reality.

The best piece of advice we can give you is to just take what you can find. In case you want to be picky, here are some ideas to get you through possibly the most confusing step of it all; the viewings.

Check for mould

Having a checklist is the best way to make the most out of a viewing and the easiest way to know if the house is the one for you. Here are some ideas of what to keep your eyes peeled for:

  • A radiator in every room 
  • Damp patches (or hopefully a lack of)
  • Kitchen appliances (Is the fridge big enough? Is there a washing machine?)
  • Unhappy looking tenants
  • Roughly equal sized rooms (trust me, this will be helpful later)

You might have other things you’re looking for in your house but these things are a good place to start.

Landlord red flags 

Another thing to keep your eyes open for is anything that might suggest the landlord is the type of person who’s gonna shaft you your two grand deposit because of a single pea left in the bottom of your freezer (it does happen). 

Here are some indicators of a dodgy landlord;

If they don’t ask you any questions, like where you go to uni or what courses you do, it probably means they don’t care who they let their property to and by extension don’t care about the property itself. 

On the opposite end, if they seem overly concerned or have lots of conditions for their tenants, they might end up being the kind of landlord that gives you a 10pm curfew and makes you clean the oven every week. 

Watch out for landlords that downplay any issues you point out. If they pass off a serious looking mould patch for just a temporary damp spot they probably won’t be very helpful if you come to them with problems if you do end up living there. 

It’s best not to be too (visibly) hungover

How you present yourself is really important, especially in Bristol, where the housing market is so competitive. Landlords will often have multiple groups to choose from and will go for the ones they think will be the easiest tenants (or the ones who pay the most). 

A quick way to look bad is for not everyone to show up to the house viewing. If somebody really can’t make it, give them advanced notice and a good reason. This is not just for the landlord but also you, how much do you trust your housemate’s judgment? 

It’s best not to be too (visibly) hungover, the idea is to sell yourself as the most boring people on earth because that means you will be perfect, problem free tenants.

And it doesn’t hurt to throw in an impressive sounding question out there, just to let them know that you can’t be fooled. My personal favourite is asking whether the house has cooper cabling or Fibre Optic. Do I know what this means? Not really. Does it sound like I do? Absolutely. 

After the viewing 

This is arguably the most important part. I recommend a discussion on the side of the road while the house is still fresh in your mind, raise the good and the bad, but don’t be too picky. 

Give everyone a want and a need, don’t make them unrealistic and take everyones into consideration. For example, a need could be a desk in every room, and a want could be an outside space. If the house you’ve just seen has all the needs but not all the wants be careful about turning it down, you might not find anything better. 

It’s common that what you want and accept from a house will change as you go to a few viewings, don’t let other people (or yourself) panic you. House viewings and everything that comes after can be so confusing and even a bit anxiety inducing; follow these steps and trust your gut and you’re sure to find a house that gets you counting down the days till September. 

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