There is an easily printable private sector house hunting checklist in the Unipol Essential House Hunting Guide.
When you are looking for accommodation in the private sector it is important that that you check for certain criteria before you move in.
- Is there a burglar alarm?
- Is there adequate outside lighting?
- Are there door and window locks? Are they in good working order?
- If you feel that any areas need addressing then you should discuss this with the landlord. Make sure that any changes that the landlord has agreed to are written into the contract with the dates specified.
- Do you understand and are you happy with the contract? It is reasonable for the landlord to allow you 24 hours to read and check the contract before signing it. We also recommended that you contact the Student Advice Centre, if you would like them to check the contract for you. Do not allow a landlord to rush you into signing a contract.
- How long is the contract for?
- Do you know how much the deposit is for? It is normal for a deposit to be equal to four to six weeks rent.
- Do you need to pay a retainer? This is non-returnable money purely to hold the accommodation for when your contract begins.
- Calculate how much rent you pay over the whole contract period to find the best deals.
- Try not to pay in cash and ask for receipts.
Fixtures and fittings
- Is the furniture in good condition? If not, will it be replaced before you move in?
- Does the accommodation need decorating? If so, will this be done before you move in?
If the property has a gas supply, it is a legal requirement that all gas equipment is checked by a GAS SAFE registered engineer. Ask the landlord to supply you with a current copy of the gas safety certificate. Properties must have a current gas safety certificate to be advertised on our website.
Under the Unipol DASH Code it is a requirement that all properties have suitable fire alarm detection which will differ depending on the size of the property.
- Are any utility bills included in the rent, and if so is there a usage limit?
- Who are the utility providers?
- If you are responsible for your own utility bills ask utility companies to put all tenants names on the bills.
Have you arranged adequate personal belongings insurance?