During my adult life, I’ve rented 5 properties. One as a final year student, 3 as a house share with friends and a flat on my own.
I’ve had a mixture of experiences during my 10 years of renting homes – both good and bad. With houses being as expensive as they are and saving for a deposit being next to impossible as a graduate who also lives independently from parents and family, more and more young adults are renting for longer.
Here’s a list of things that young adults look for and find most appealing when viewing rental properties
A spacious room.
If you are sharing a house with friends, your room because very important. It’s the only place that is truly yours. It can often be the space you spend most of your time, rather than the living room or other communal areas. There needs to be enough space for a bed, wardrobe, storage and a desk – most young people will be streaming TV via computers in their room and many play computer games or are interested in blogging, watching YouTube or other computer-based activities. Not to mention social media is a big way of keeping in touch with others!
Storage is also a must in a shared house as most things apart from kitchen items will be stored in the bedroom. Things like adding shelves to store DVDs and books or hooks on the back of doors for towels and coats will all be nice touches.
Also, consider this when picking the bed – in each house I rented I had big plastic boxes under my bed with things in so ensure beds are the type you can store things under – it makes a huge difference!
A working boiler.
Three out of the five properties I rented had issues with the heating. I had a bedroom once with an open fireplace that just was ice cold constantly – I remember being in bed with pyjamas on with a onesie over the top, a hat and a dressing gown!
The above is me trying to keep warm on a cold February evening in 2015. It’s a bad sign when you have to wear a hat in bed! That house was so cold and drafty and I ended up buying an electric blanket. It was wonderful.
Boilers are expensive to replace and repair, so it really is worth landlords investing in boiler cover. In the flat I rented on my own, my boiler just switched off all the time. Even when having showers. I reported it to my landlord and he kept promising to fix it but never did. He once sent someone around to look at it and told me not to tell them it had problems. Turned out the person he sent around was from a cover company come to look at the boiler before agreeing it was working and could get insurance on it – he knew straight away it was broken and needed replacing! The landlord had even tried to say it was about 10 years younger than it was! I moved out before it got fixed.
Oh, and while we’re talking about insurance – get yourself a landlord insurance quote. It will avoid situations like when our ceiling fell down and the landlord tried to accuse us of jumping on the beds to try get us to pay for it which, I’m sure you can imagine, caused tension. Here’s a reminder of what that looked like:
Low maintenance garden.
The majority of young people are not going to be mowing the lawn weekly, or even own a lawnmower (never mind have anywhere to store it in a shared house). Save everyone the hassle by going for a paved garden that requires minimal looking after. The house with the garden we used the most was just concrete. All you need for having friends over for BBQs or sitting in the sun.
I think the most gardening I even did in a shared house was buy a hanging basket that didn’t survive too long…