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Everything you should know before viewing a student house in Cov

Some pointers your parents won’t give you

That time of the year is fast approaching. No – not cuffing season. House hunting season. Where you live while at uni is important and who you live with even more so. You're gonna need some guidance here.

Plus, houses can be pretty grimey, but Cov houses in particular. You need to keep your eyes peeled during house viewings for tell tale signs for anything even a bit sus. So here’s some key things to consider before you embark on your search.

How likely are you to argue with your potential housemates?

If the answer is very, get out while you can. We all have those friends that are better in small doses, or maybe they're a little on the dramatic side. Now is the time to admit that to yourself and turn down that offer of living together. Just do it before you’re squabbling through passive aggressive post it notes about who's turn it is to empty the bins.

You need to establish some key rules with your potential housemates

Like how much are you all willing to pay? How near to the uni are you wanting to be? Do you care about the place being kept immaculate or are you happy to come home to what could be confused with a trap house? Something in between? Compromise is key when living with others, especially students, who are notoriously messy let downs.

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Negotiate rooms before putting a deposit down

There’s always that one especially grim room and who lives in it needs to be decided beforehand because otherwise there is no backing out.

Everyone might seem reasonable enough now, but when faced with living in a box for a year, some serious tantrums will be thrown. You don't want one housemate holding a grudge for an entire year – that's powerful stuff.

One word: Damp

Student houses are full of it because for some reason, people aren’t so worried about it when they aren’t the ones living with it. In fact, the majority of landlords won’t worry themselves about much except receiving your rent on time.

So if you see it, best avoid it, before it starts making you ill and generally grossing you out on the regular. You can absolutely guarantee it will not get sorted out any of your housemates or your landlord, and it will give you a weirdly loud hacking cough that you have to cover up in lectures. Seriously.

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Just one girl and her large expanse of mould x

Try to avoid dodgy landlords or estate agents

You can usually figure this out by having a quick google (people review estate agents), chatting to the current tenants, or just judging from the state of the house.

No one chooses to have their door hanging off the hinges, no curtains in their bedroom, plugs falling out the wall, so if you spot these kind of things, consider it a major red flag.

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Make sure you really weigh up your options

What your estate agent is telling you is a great deal may actually be quite the opposite. Remember that they're trying to sell you something at the end of the day and putting a deposit down on the first house you see is not a wise move.

Shop around, do some research. Once you’ve looked around, you can make that judgement by yourself.


This is a big one, it can make or break your bank. If you go bills included, you have no nasty surprises to worry about and there’s just generally less hassle. This can be hard to find, but not impossible.

However, if you pay bills separately you have a choice of which wifi you get, for example. But it comes with annoying difficulties like setting up a house bank account or getting someone to agree to having the internet/water bills come out of their bank account. Make sure you know what you're getting into here.

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Deposits and holding fees

Just a heads up, you will be expected to pay around £150 that you will never see again for no apparent reason (this is the holding fee), and then about a month and a half rent deposit, too.

Make sure you are all prepared for this before you find your perfect place or you won't have time to convince your parents to let you 'borrow’ the money and the house will be snapped up by someone else.

Lead tenants and guarantors

The term ‘lead tenant’ doesn’t really seem to mean much in terms of student housing. It’s just the person that the landlord will probably contact you through, so whoever checks their emails most should probably take this role.

Guarantors are the people who trust you enough to pay your rent that they sign a thing to say they will pay it if you don’t. These people are typically your parents, so make sure you and your friends alert them that they are about to sign their lives away beforehand.

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Welcome to my empire

Remember, this is your student house

You will not live here forever. You are going to sleep, shower, heat up pizza and pre drink here. Bare that in mind before you fork out for some flashy flat and have to spend the whole year inside with the heating off so that you can afford the rent.