One of the most frustrating things about student accommodation is that you’ll face inspections every three to six months, where your landlord, letting agent, or student housing provider will check your accommodation for any damage and ensure it’s being maintained to a reasonable standard. Fear not: we’ve put together tips on surviving your next inspection.
Letting agents must give you at least 24 hours' written notice of an inspection and reasonable notice if your landlord or a worker needs access to your home to carry out repairs. If someone turns up at your property unannounced, exercise your rights and ask them to leave and return at a more appropriate time. It’s important that they follow protocols.
Okay, this one’s pretty obvious, but keeping your student accommodation tidy and in good working order means you’ll be prepared for any short-notice inspection. We’re not saying that you need to vacuum your room every evening or spend an hour Mrs Hinch-ing it up in the communal bathroom, but ensuring everyone keeps on top of their personal space means you won’t have to rush around at the last minute to miraculously transform your property.
We get it: when you’re living with a group of relative strangers (or best friends, for that matter) it can be awkward bossing people around or asking them to tidy up after themselves. One of the best ways to do that is to consider a cleaning rota - break down tasks like emptying the bins, washing up, vacuuming, cleaning the bathroom, and polishing mirrors and windows, and dish them out. This website has a free cleaning rota that could be useful.
Storage boxes (those plastic tubs you can buy from Wilko are ideal) are your best friend, here - if you’re well-organised and everything has its place, inspections should be a doddle. Get everyone to organise their belongings - and consider doing the same for things like food and toiletries - and you can quickly store them away in cupboards and wardrobes ahead of an inspection. Plus, it makes it easier to move out when you’re graduating. Double win!
The truth is that inspections are a necessary evil, but if you’re friendly with your agent, you’re more likely to receive better treatment. If you’re responsive to their emails, phone calls, and messages, they’re more likely to be lenient with you when it comes to your inspection. At the end of the day, it’s their job to ensure the property you’re renting is clean, safe, and being well looked after - show them the same respect you want to be shown, and you’ll be fine.
Do you have any tips? Let us know and check back soon for more!