What you SHOULD look for in a rented house

As part of our Housing Special we offer the Tab’s tips for house selection.

It’s that time of year again. ‘Tis the season to traipse around streets you didn’t realise existed looking at house after house with smug flashy estate agents who try and push you towards spending money you don’t have on a deposit. Often you have never had to think about renting before and either make your decision based on the look of the place or enthusiastic yet dubious parental advice.

So as the househunting season begins we at the Soton Tab are going to offer up some crucial items to check when looking around a house!

Wooden floors.

You will see more of this man than your lecturers

When you have those rowdy house parties invariably drink goes everywhere. Having wooden floors means that although the morning after the floor is horrible, after a quick mop it is quickly clean and tidy, unlike carpet which soaks up the booze and means the house has a pervading smell of alcohol which can make you feel extra awful when curled up on the sofa nursing a hangover and watching Jezza K.

Communal Areas

In halls there is very little communal space, often only the kitchen, which is a bit plain and miserable. However, the huge benefit of houses is the likelihood that there will be a living room. The first thing to check is that it has an aerial connection point, space for a TV and enough comfortable seats for everyone to sit down. If there isn’t enough seating for everyone then demand it from the landlord, I mean what use is a house where you can’t all sit in the same room!!!

Being able to host a gig in your house is essential.


Students make noise. Lots of noise. Whether it be during the day in the garden or in the evenings whilst playing music before heading out it is often louder then normally experienced. A crucial check is to find out who your neighbours are. I’ve been to several house parties where non student neighbours have threatened to call the police on us as we were being ‘too noisy’ after 11pm! (literally at 11.01) Becoming mates with your neighbours also means that a multi venue houseparty is a possibility, giving you the opportunity to become a campus legend.


Thin walls are also pretty bad

You’re paying for the house so make sure all the beds are proper double, no point sticking with single beds now you’re no longer in halls! Oh and check they don’t squeak, it can get awkward otherwise……


Location depends on academic year. If you’re a bunch of second years you should be making a decision based on closeness to Jesters/Sobar/Portswood takeaways. You don’t want to have to travel further then necessary to a night out as that sobers you up after pre-drinks! And that in turn leaves houses free close to university for the third and fourth years who don’t want to travel far when the library kicks out late at night.

Still confused? Find more from our Housing Special here.