A Guide to Viewing Your Student Accommodation

Finding suitable housing can be a difficult task for students. It’s crucial to know what to look for when viewing potential properties because there are so many options available.

This guide will explain the value of carefully checking potential student housing and offer advice on what to look for so that you can find a home that is both secure and meets your needs. Check it out before your viewing to make sure you take note of the right things.

Why proper accommodation viewing can be important

Viewing student housing in person before signing a lease can have many benefits. For starters, it helps you to analyse the property’s condition and identify any defects or concerns that may impact your living experience. Second, it allows you to ask questions and have a greater grasp of what the property has to offer. Finally, it assists you in determining whether the home is a good fit for you in terms of location, amenities, and general vibe.

Even if you can’t attend a viewing in person, you don’t necessarily have to worry though. On Student.com we list a large amount of photos, videos and even virtual tours of the properties we list, so even if you won’t be able to see the place for yourself before moving in, you can get a good idea of what your new home will look like.

If you can get a viewing though, make sure to check the things listed below.

A woman standing on a balcony of an apartment, giving the thumbs up
When you see an apartment for yourself, you can get a better idea of what the building and the environment is really like.

What to look for during student accommodation viewings?

During student accommodation viewings, there are several things to look for to ensure that the property is safe, comfortable, and suitable for your needs. Here are some key items to consider:

  1.   Location: When looking for student housing, the first thing to consider is its location. Is it close to your college or university? Is it in a secure and convenient location? Is it near public transportation, supermarkets, and other necessities? Some of this stuff you can already figure out a bit thanks to online maps, but really visiting the location and seeing the place for yourself gives you an even better idea of the area.
  2.   Room size and layout: The size and layout of the room you’ll be living in are the next things to consider. Is it large enough for your requirements? Is there a comfortable bed, a desk, and a chair? Is there enough space to store your belongings? Is the layout good so all available space can be used efficiently.
  3.   Dampness and mould on the walls, ceilings, windows, and furniture. These can cause health issues as well as unpleasant odours. On Student.com we strive to only list properties that are in good condition, but it’s always good to check for everything.
A student bedroom in a student accommodation building
When you see the apartment for yourself, you can get a better feel of the room size and layout.
  1.   Signs of pest issues such as cockroaches, mice, rats, or bedbugs. These can also affect your health and hygiene. You should look for droppings, holes, nests, or traps in the kitchen, bathroom, and bedrooms. Again, well-known and respected purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) buildings should not have these issues, but it’s always good to check for yourself if you’re doing a viewing anyways.
  2.   Facilities: It’s also a good idea to look into the facilities that come with the accommodation. The electrical appliances such as the fridge, freezer, oven, microwave, kettle, toaster, washing machine, and dryer. You should check if they are in good working condition and if they are included in the rent or not. You should also check the water supply, including the pressure, temperature, and quality. In addition, make sure there are no leaks or drips coming from the taps, shower, or toilet.
  3.   Internet and utilities: Make sure to ask about the internet connection and other utilities such as electricity, gas, and water. Is there a reliable and fast internet connection available in the accommodation? A slow internet connection can make both your free time and study time much more difficult if the internet is cutting on and off while you’re trying to do school work or stream a show.
A cinema room in a purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) building
Many student accommodation buildings have great amenities such as cinema rooms and in-house gyms.
  1.   Shared spaces: You’ll also want to check out the shared spaces in the accommodation, such as the kitchen, living room, and bathroom. Are they clean and well-maintained? Are they large enough to accommodate all the students living in the accommodation?
  2.   Safety features: When viewing accommodation, always look for safety features such as smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers. Ensure that windows and doors are secure and that the locks are in good working condition.
  3.   Energy certificates: These days many students want to protect the environment as much as possible. Living in an energy-efficient property is much more eco-friendly than living in one with old appliances and low energy efficiency. You can ask about the energy certificates about the different appliances if this is a major issue for you.
  4.   Landlord or property manager: Finally, you’ll want to ask about the landlord or property management team. Are they easy to communicate with? Do they respond promptly to requests for repairs or maintenance? Are they reliable and trustworthy? Hopefully nothing goes wrong with your accommodation, but if it does, it’s always good to know you’ll get help quickly and efficiently.
A communal area in a student accommodation building
In addition to student bedrooms, student accommodation buildings also typically have communal areas where you can hang out with your new friends.

Remember to take your time during the accommodation viewing and ask lots of questions. It’s important to find a suitable and comfortable living space that meets your needs and budget.

Bonus tips for a successful student accommodation viewing

Here are some practical tips for making the most of your student accommodation viewings:

  1.   Schedule multiple viewings in one day: If you can, arrange many viewings on the same day to make the most of your time and make it simpler to compare properties.
  2.   Bring a friend or family member: It can be beneficial to have a second opinion. Especially if this is your first time living away from home, a person who’s used to viewing apartments can notice things you might miss.
  3.   Take photos or videos: Especially if you’re doing multiple viewings in one day, you can very easily get the different properties confused in your head. You can compare other possibilities later on and help yourself recall the specifics of the property by taking pictures or videos.
  4.   Prepare a list of questions: Make a list of questions to ask the landlord or agent before the viewing. By doing this, you can make sure that you receive all the information you need to make a decision and won’t forget to ask anything important.
Two people viewing an apartment
Viewing an apartment with somebody else can help you notice more things.

Last thoughts

Viewing student housing is an important step in finding a safe and comfortable living space as a student. You can make an informed decision that meets your needs and budget by evaluating the property’s safety features, amenities, location, condition, and cost.

Remember to bring a friend or family member, take photos or videos, and prepare a list of questions to ask during the viewing. With these tips, you’ll be better prepared to find the ideal student housing for you.

Before you can view student accommodation, you’ll want to find some good options to view. Student.com lists thousands of properties across hundreds of cities across the world. Make sure to check out our student accommodation options!