House-Hunting Checklist

Students sat in a room in their halls
The information set out in this Guide is general guidance for students. It should not be seen as definitive or legal advice 

House-Hunting Checklist

Planning to find a new place? Take along this simple checklist when you go house-hunting. It'll help you keep track of what you like and don't like about each place, making your decision easier.

Outside the Property

  • Is the area well-lit at night?
  • How's the nearby transportation?
  • Describe the local environment: Quiet or noisy?
  • Check the external condition of the property.
  • Does the roof look ok?
  • Check window frames aren’t rotten.
  • Are doors and windows secure?
  • Ensure drains and gutters are clear.

Inside the Property

  • Check for signs of damp – peeling wallpaper, flaking paint, dark patches.
  • Check for signs of condensation, e.g. mould on the walls.
  • Any signs of unwanted critters like mouse droppings?


  • Ask about utility bills and heating from current tenants.
  • Are bills included in the rent? Any cap on charges?
  • Does the property use gas, electricity, or both?
  • Check electric or gas fires - check the gas fire heats up properly and isn't heat stained (if it is it may be dangerous).
  • Confirm the boiler is in good working order.
  • When was the last service and is there a valid Gas Safety Certificate?
  • Count the plug sockets in each room.
  • Ask about internet access and if it's included or a separate payment.


  • Check with current tenants about utility bills and heating.
  • Confirm if bills are included and if there's a cap.
  • Is there hot water?
  • Do all the taps work properly?
  • Does the toilet flush properly?


  • Does the property have a working burglar alarm, it’s in both the landlord's and yours interest to have one.
  • Does the property have a smoke detector? 
  • Assess how easily the house can be secured. Insurance may insist on solid external doors with five-bar mortice locks.
  • Locks - If you rent your own room, with a separate tenancy agreement which includes shared use of common parts with other tenants, then your room should have a lock. Otherwise this may not be something the landlord is willing or able to do.
  • Verify if there is double glazing.
  • Check for locks on downstairs windows.


  • Ask if any furniture belongs to current tenants.
  • Ensure soft furnishings have intact fire safety labels.
  • Confirm the overall furniture condition.
  • Assess the presence of bed, desk, and storage in bedrooms.
  • Check for blinds or curtains.
  • Evaluate the carpet condition.


  • Is the kitchen suitable for the number of tenants?
  • Is there enough fridge/freezer space?
  • Check the cleanliness and hygiene.
  • Test the functionality of appliances.

Feel free to contact us via email with any questions at or to book an SU Advice appointment, please use our booking system here.

Happy House Hunting!

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Falmouth & Exeter Students' Union
Penryn Campus
Penryn, Cornwall
TR10 9FE

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