Renting a student flat: questions to ask yourself when viewing flats.
Time to say goodbye to mum and dad! You’re leaving your comfortable family home (and its strict rules) to study in another city. Freedom is yours! Here are some questions to ask yourself when viewing a rented flat, to avoid the flat of your dreams turning into a nightmare...
Take a look around the neighbourhood and the rest of the building too
Do you have a flat viewing planned? From the photos in the ad, the flat looks like an ultra-chic New York loft (you can just picture yourself as the next Serena Van Der Woodsen). A word of advice: don't get carried away too quickly... and arrive early for your appointment, so you can have a look around the area. The immediate environment is probably more important than the colour of the walls. Are there any shops or transport facilities nearby (but not a high-speed train line under your window)? What kind of vibe does the area have? (if you've been mugged twice in less than 5 minutes, forget it) Is it noisy?
Essentials: a lively area (but not just above the bars, unless you’re an insomniac), close to everything and quite safe (this will also reassure your mum). Ideally, if you can, visit the area at different times of the day. Also be aware of the general condition of the common areas (stairwells, lift, etc.). If there’s an unpleasant smell or litter on the floor, this isn’t a good sign.
Materials, equipment, furniture: questions to ask
Surface area, luminosity, décor, pay attention to your feelings when you enter the accommodation. Does it feel cramped or like you've just walked into a cave? That’s not exactly a good sign. The owner claims that the area is over 40 m², but you feel like you're in your little sister's micro-bedroom (minus the Snow Queen posters)? Feel free to take a tape measure with you to check the dimensions on the spot.
And even though the modern carpet is beautiful, don't let yourself be fooled by its beauty, remember to check:
- The overall condition of the ceilings, floors, paintwork and plumbing (the tap that comes off in your hand ...), but also of the furniture if the rental is furnished
- The quality of the windows and doors and the property’s energy performance (so you don’t have to use up all your savings on your first electricity bill)
- Sound insulation: choose a well-insulated home to avoid being woken up at dawn by your neighbour
- Household appliances (oven, microwave, washing machine, etc.)
- Heating and electricity (electric meter, hot water tank, etc.)
And the price, is it all-inclusive?
During your viewing ask the owner as many questions as you like. And to avoid unpleasant surprises, check what’s included in the rent (electricity, water, internet connection, rental charges, etc.). If bills aren’t included remember they’ll be a difference between the rent price and the money you have to pay at the end of the month.
To make your life easier, consider a Nemea student residence! Comfortable accommodation with no nasty surprises awaits.