Clueless fresher? Here’s some good questions to ask at house viewings
We’ve all been there x
So, you’ve been looking for a house with your mates and have made some bookings to view homes, but you know absolutely nothing about what questions you should ask. I’ve been there, twice now, sifting through all the dingy “homes” and rat infested bandos that Lenton has to offer. Using this experience, here’s a few pointers that should help you through the enthralling activity that is… house hunting!
Before we go through some of the most important questions to ask at a viewing, I must point out that it is imperative that you don’t just buy a house ‘straight out the catalogue’. By that I mean, make sure you look at homes with trusted letting agents, if your dream abode is under a company with a 1 star Google review, then common sense dictates that maybe you shouldn’t use that lettings agency.
Never sign on a house that you have not seen in person. Given the current climate, it may seem easier to just rely on virtual representations of the house- however please do remember that after tax collectors, and the Devil himself, the next most evil beings that this world has to offer are real estate agents/ lettings agents. No one can make a house look better in pictures than in real life than a letting agent; you’ll end up buying the house thinking that you’ve copped a precious gem when in reality you have signed a contract binding you to a house which is half broken and sprouting mould.
“How are the neighbours?”
The quality of your Lenton living experience doesn’t just depend on the house itself but, the people around it. If you were hoping to be party central, it’s probably worth finding out if the neighbours are locals, as well as if the current residents have had any noise complaints. Or else, you may just find yourself with an overdraft inducing fine before you’ve even lived in the house for a month.
“What is the landlord/landlady like?”
Realistically, student houses tend to come with lots of issues. In fact, you wouldn’t be living the full Lenton experience if absolutely nothing in your house breaks at all. That being said, you want to make sure that the landlord doesn’t take three months to reply when this happens.
To avoid month long spells of a broken shower or oven, ask the current residents whether the landlord is nice and attentive. This may save you from the stress of having to use another household’s shower because your landlord is sipping cocktails in Marbella with his phone on DND.
“What was your experience like living here?”
Another one for the current residents- this question helps expose the dirty secrets which the letting agents are likely not to tell you. If the residents sing praises, this question may also help provide you with solidifying confidence to buy the house you just viewed.
“What is the process if we were interested in renting the home?”
Every lettings agency has their own way of doing things. Some require you to place a holding fee and deposit within ten days of signing your contract whilst others may not require a deposit until January so it is imperative that you know what the future has in store to avoid losing your dream student crib or deposit!
Another top tip: The university also offer a contract reading service which is recommended in order to prevent you from accepting terms which you may not understand.