Before you move into a house, most importantly when you move into a student house, it will most often be in September. It will be still quite warm, not too much rain usually, and workload won’t be huge as you will just be starting a new year of university.
SO YOU WON’T NECESSARILY NOTICE THESE MISSING/UNSATISFACTORY LIVING CONDITIONS:
- No loft insulation. In my house we just recently discovered our loft insulation was about the thickness of a one layer Victoria sponge. Insulation that thin has a very rubbish heat-keeping-in ability as you would expect. ASK YOUR POTENTIAL LANDLORD WHAT THE INSULATION SITUATION IS…it will make a huge difference; you could wake up in a freezer as it starts getting into December if you’re not lucky.
- Mould/damp/mildew. You wouldn’t believe the amount of houses students can end up living in that have these grim features on the walls. Once the mould is there it’s very hard to get rid of, it’s just seems a reoccurring feature once it’s there. Leaving damp clothes and not opening your windows every so often won’t help the situation but neither does not doing that get rid of the mould either. It’s not pleasant, it can damage your personal items such as bags, clothes, shoes, anything really so GET IT CHECKED OUT!
- Drying clothes. When you move in and the weathers OK you can dry clothes outside. Come winter when it’s damp for weeks on end or void of wind, you will need somewhere to be able to dry your clothes other than radiators (it takes ages, prevents your house heating, increases the chance of damp in your rooms etc). If you don’t have a tumble drier or you do but it is inefficient at the whole “clothes drying” thing, you might get a bit stuck for the dry clothes. GET THE LOW-DOWN ON THE WASHER/DRIER FACILITIES IN ANY HOUSE YOUR MOVING IN BEFORE YOU MOVE IN!!!
- Kitchen Facilities. Does the landlord/lady provide a microwave? Kettle? Toaster? Grill tray for the grill? Recycling and waste bins? Fire safety equipment? FIND OUT! If they don’t and you want them talk to the owner!
- Bedroom furniture. Make sure you know what is included in your room. Often people bring their own stuff so when you go look around a house and the room you would like has a bookcase, drawers, bin, couch, double bed etc, ask whether that’s what is included in the rent or whether that’s what the previous tenant had brought. It will be disappointing if you move in and then realise half the furniture was the last tenants and they’ve taken it all with them!
If you leave it to the week you move in to sort these things out, you will miss out on living in a house your happy with and will decrease the chance of it being able to be changed.