Housemates, Living away from home, Only in Cardiff, Renting a house

Surprise Fish

A massive part of the uni experience is living with your friends. It comes with absolute hilarity and things like ‘Uni Challenge’ nights (Monday evenings, after Guides), but also comes with things like bin duty, maintenance requests and this annoying thing called rent. And house hunting. Oh house hunting, how I loathe you. Once you’ve found a great house, it’s wonderful and all rainbows and kittens and happiness, but getting there can be difficult.

When I was a little first year looking for a house with my friends, we knew nothing about renting, or maintenance, or any of that. So, here are some tips and questions to ask the agency when you’re going around a house. And yes, they are all from personal experience.

Ask the agent:
1. Where is the boiler and is it accessible by the tenants? (There is nothing more frustrating then having to call out a plumber to reset the boiler because it’s behind a locked door. Nothing.)
2. Is the property managed by the agency or the landlord? (i.e., who will be running our maintenance)
3. Are there any issues that you are aware of with this house? (don’t get caught in the problem house..)
4. If the property is managed by the landlord how do we go about getting maintenance?

Ask any tenants in the house when you look round:
1. What is your opinion on the property?
2. How easy is it to get maintenance?
3. What are any issues that you’ve had this year?
4. Have the agency/ landlord been good at solving any problems that occurred?
5. Is there anything you think we should know?
6. Does the house come with surprise fish? (No joke, we were doing the inventory and there were ’20 fish (in pond)’ on the inventory. We didn’t even know they existed until then. We’ve only ever seen 5…)

Happy house hunting! Hope this helps!

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