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Lowri-RobertsChoosing a property can be a scary experience, especially if this is your first time away from home or you have to arrange things yourself. If you’re opting for a private let, here are a few useful tips for you to keep in mind that will take you through the whole process.



  1. Choose the area you want to live in.

When looking at prospective properties, you need to be careful in choosing the appropriate area. For example, would you rather be close to the centre of town or to university buildings? You also need to know which campus you will be studying at the most as that will most likely have an impact on your choice of area. This should be apparent from the website or the prospectus. Some areas are notorious student areas and therefore some will be more drawn to live there or conversely will want to be further away. The choice is yours.

  1. Get online and research the properties.

Have a good look online at the different types of properties available to you and the differences between them to see what will work best for you. Each will have its pros and cons but it’s important to look out for the qualities you want, for example, parking space, whether the property is furnished or unfurnished and the facilities available.

Common room in Dorchester House
  1. Arrange lots of viewings but keep track.

Don’t be afraid to have several viewing of a range of properties with a multitude of different estate agents. Just make a note of the property’s address, the estate agents showing you around, the rent amount and what you liked and didn’t like about it. By doing this, you remember what each property looked like as seeing a few in a day can affect your memory! You can ask whether its’s OK to take pictures too so that you can remember the properties you liked and may want to re-visit at a second viewing which is perfectly fine.

  1. Ask questions.

It is vitally important that you ask lots of questions if you liked the property. Possible questions are expected monthly bill costs, who the landlord is, security measures in place in the house e.g. bedroom door locks, facilities within the house, questions about the area, and whether there are any issues you should be aware of. You also need to be sensible and take in as much as you can while walking around the property. Don’t be afraid to go in to each room and check to see the condition of things such as windows and whether there are any apparent misgivings such as mould.

  1. Understand what’s included.

When you have decided that you want to live at a property, you need to make sure that you fully understand what’s included in the price you will be paying each month. Some property rent will include all bills; some have one included bill such as water while others will come with no bills in the price at all. If this is the case, you need to ask the predicted cost of prospective monthly bills so that you have some idea of how much you will need to set aside each month. At a later date, you will also need to liaise with the estate agents to ask for the details of the suppliers of the property such as gas and water so that you can contact them to let them know when your tenancy will start and end so that you only pay for that period of time. The internet access will probably need to be set up by you, but this can be a good thing because it allows you to choose the package you want and the price you want to pay.

By following these 5 easy steps, you’ll be sure not to miss a trick while house hunting, but it never hurts to bring someone else along with you to ease some of the pressure off yourself. One last thing: always read the contract before you sign it. Happy hunting!

By Lowri Roberts

You can find out about other accommodation options on our website.