What to look for when renting a student house?

When you’re on the hunt for next year’s accommodation, it can be tricky to know where to centre your search: are two bathrooms more important than room size? And what does “bijou living room” actually mean?

With that in mind, we’ve created this guide on what to look for when renting a student house. Whether you’re looking for a house or flat, and whether you’re moving in with friends or complete strangers, this will give you a heads up as to what you should be looking for. 

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What to look for in the shared living space

There’s space for everyone

Although a bijou living room isn’t the worst thing in the world, ample room for every member of the household can encourage better communication between you all, helping you to stay social – after all, isn’t that what Uni’s all about?

You’ve all the mod-cons

Washing machine? Check. Oven and microwave? Check. Dishwasher and flatscreen TV? We can hope 🤞

Some landlords try to skimp on what to include in student accommodation since it’s their responsibility to fix it if something goes wrong. Remember, you’re paying to live here so it’s only right that you have exactly what you need to make this house your home.

What to look for in the bedrooms

They’re all roughly the same size

Prevent any future arguments with your housemates by choosing a home with equal-sized bedrooms. Hard to manage in some properties, we know, so if there is the dreaded box room in the mix, speak to your agent and housemates about the possibility of reducing the rent for this room and increasing it for the other bedrooms. Failing that, you could always work out a room-switch rota so each of you has a turn in the small room during your tenancy (if you can be bothered to upsticks every few months, that is).

There’s room for a desk

Take it from us, your student house share will go a lot smoother if you’ve somewhere quiet to work when a deadline is looming. A lot of student landlords actually supply a desk for each of the bedrooms, so look out for homes which offer this. At the very least, you should have enough room for a desk so they can be used for burning the midnight oil when necessary. 

You’re happy to spend time in it

You can pick your housemates, but you can’t choose who they invite over. Your bedroom is your refuge from anything, or anyone, you’d rather keep your distance from – like your flatmate’s Netflix-binges, or her ever-present boyfriend. 

Likewise, if you have guests you’d rather keep away from the prying eyes of your housemates, your bedroom will need to be the kind of room you’d feel proud to show off to your friends. 

What to look for in the bathroom

There’s more than one (ideally!)

Although it’s not a deal breaker, having another washroom in a shared house would definitely make those debates about the length of shower times go away. It needn’t be fancy: even a wet room with a shower pointed over the toilet will do the job. 

A working shower

This really is non-negotiable, and something that prospective tenants might be too shy to check during a viewing. If you’ve ever lived with a weak shower, offering a thin trickle of water which intermittently changes from ice-cold to scalding hot, you’ll know what we mean. 

Don’t be afraid to run the shower briefly during a viewing (with the current tenant or agent’s permission, of course). If it’s weak-sauce, ask about the possibility of this being replaced.

Recap: student accommodation checklist

  • There’s ample living space.
  • You’ve a decent selection of white goods.
  • Equal-sized bedrooms. 
  • … and room enough for a desk and visiting friends. 
  • More than one bathroom (if possible), and a working shower. 

For more advice about moving into your new student home, get in touch with the Student Places crew today. 


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