Top 5 Tips When Looking for a Room To Rent
Ahh, the joys of searching for a room to rent… we’ve all been there. We all know the struggle of making such an important decision in a matter of days because of the pressure agents or landlords are putting on us (or because we left it all to the last minute). Of course, where you live has a huge impact on your quality of life, after work or university it’s the place where you’ll spend most of your time, maybe less if you’re a party animal but in that case it’s still the place where you’ll need to rest up between two epic parties. So if you’re looking to rent a room don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! The flat hunting process is not as daunting as it seems if you have the right strategy. So here are some of our top tips to make your search a bit easier, so let’s get started…
- Make a lot of research beforehand
Where it all starts and probably the most important part of flat hunting: the research. Thorough research to start with will save you a lot of time afterwards. Try to narrow your search only to rooms that tick all the boxes: it fits your budget, it’s the right size, and has a convenient location. There is no point in getting lost visiting too many rooms because it will only make you waste time.
Another thing to consider is the time of the year when rents are lowest, typically November, December or January. Try to avoid summer as the prices are really high because of the large number of students looking for rooms to rent, there are also fewer options available in that period and the rooms normally go really fast.
The last tip when researching rooms to rent is to be careful of scams there are many scammers out there who publish really nice rooms for low prices. They will ask you for deposit money before even visiting the room. No matter how good the rooms looks online, never pay before visiting! It’s better to always go for room rental companies that you trust.
- Plan your visits
The truth about flat hunting is that you need to move fast, it’s not as bad as agents want to make you feel when they pressure you to make up your mind on the spot… but still, in a few days, the room could be gone! So we would recommend dedicating a full weekend to visiting all the rooms that you have shortlisted. Try to narrow it down to your favourites and separate your room viewings by areas. For example, tackle all the rooms in one area in the morning and another one in the afternoon. In two days, try to see everything and to make up your mind to be sure that someone else doesn’t take it before you.
- Check everything
Now that you did all the groundwork and research, you get to the most crucial moment… visiting the rooms you would like to rent. So at this stage, we would recommend that you check everything and we mean everything. Make sure you have phone signal everywhere especially in the bed. Let’s be real we all like a little scroll before sleep so the worst would be to have bad reception exactly in that area… Check that the showers works, look inside the cupboards, closets, anything that opens and closes.. check it. And if you still feel that something is wrong with the place, trust your gut instinct. Better safe than sorry, right?
Be sure to check our article on the Questions to Ask when Viewing a Flatshare for more.
- Look at local amenities and public transport nearby
When visiting all your shortlisted rooms make sure to not only look at the room and house/ flat itself but also at its surrounding area. Look for supermarkets and small shops, search for local pubs and restaurants and get a general vibe of the area. Make sure it fits your needs from all perspectives. Maybe try to spot nearby bus stops and check which routes they have, look for tube stations and anything that would make your life easier if you lived there. The one thing to avoid would be living above a crowded bar or nightclub because of the noise at night and especially if you’re room is facing towards the street. You don’t want to be hearing everyone entering and leaving the club after one too many drinks (been there done that, never again).
Our final tip for you in your hunt for the perfect room to rent is to negotiate. Try choosing your top 3 rooms and then ask for a discount, see if you’re lucky with any of them. As the saying goes, it doesn’t hurt to ask and the worst answer you could get is no. But if you have a good profile and you look like a trustworthy tenant, most landlords would actually be willing to reduce the rent a little bit in order to rent the room to someone that they can trust. You might actually get a good deal out of this! If you’re planning to stick around for a while another option is to offer to extend the contract a few months more in return for a cheaper rent or a reduced deposit. Every little bit counts!
So here were our top five tips and strategies when looking for a room to rent. We hope that they will help you a little bit on your journey to find the perfect room for you. We know that this process can be tedious, but don’t give up the one is out there. Don’t forget to have a look at our thousands of rooms available all across the UK, there’s a pretty good chance that one of them is the right one for you! Plus, it might just come with your ideal flatmates so why not try our matching quiz to find them 😉