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House Hunting

So you’re looking for a house to move into after your first year, or you need a house to move into because you’ve missed out on university accommodation. First of all you need to know what your budget is going to be so that you don’t start looking for houses which you can’t afford. Most housing in Chester is charged at a weekly rate on a 52 week (12 months) contract. This means that even if you only live in the house for 8 months you will still have to pay for the full 52 weeks (or however long your contract is for). We strongly advise you not to look at houses where the contract is longer than 12 months.

Chester Student Stamp 
Once you have your budget then it’s time to look at houses, we recommend that you only look at houses which are on the Chester Student Stamp website www.chesterstudentstamp.co.uk/Accommodation. These properties have been checked by the local Council and have the Student Stamp or relevant accreditation. The Student Stamp is a means of recognition that the Council has inspected your property and it meets the standards required for student accommodation. For more information about Student stamp use this link.
Once you have a list of properties you would like to view, contact the landlord and arrange to view them. We would advise that you go to look at as many houses as possible and that you don’t just jump at the first one which fits your criteria. There is plenty of accommodation in the Chester area.

Viewing the House
When you go to view the house it’s important that everyone who is going to live there goes along. You should go prepared to ask questions:
  • How recently was the house refurbished?
  • Are there any structural or on-going problems?
  • Planned building work nearby?
  • The rent for different rooms?
  • What furniture comes with the house? (Don’t assume what’s in the room comes with the room as people probably already live in the house.)
  • Are bills included and if so which ones?
  • How much is the deposit & is it part of the tenancy deposit scheme?
When you are looking around keep an eye out for anything that looks wrong. Make sure the electrical safety & gas safety certificates are displayed. Also look to see whether there is a modern fire detection system in the building and if each room door has individual locks.
Don’t be pressured into signing anything and don’t be afraid to ask questions.