1.Whether the room you’re going to rent truly exist
Yes, this is the very first thing you need to check, especially when you are living far away from the city. Nowadays, housing scammers appear everywhere on online sites such as Facebook and other platforms. Their ads sound attractive (good location, cheap price), and even fake websites are created with a view to rip off innocent people who know nothing about the area. We wrote an article about their tricks and some tips to prevent them before, make sure you read it here.
Due to a high rate of fraud, we suggest that you should first check if the room is real or not. For example: does the room come from a trustworthy agency or a real person (Search for the agency on Google, check the profile of the person)? Is the caption about the house clear?..etc.
However, that is not enough to guarantee safety. You should ASK FOR A VIEWING, either online or in person. If the renter denies your request, there can be a problem with the house.
2.Location, location, and location
To most people, location is the most important thing when they choose a room or an apartment. If you are a student, check how long it will take to your school, and maybe the library. If it’s like 20-30 minutes biking, ask yourself if you can manage to cycle every day to school. Then, you should do a research about how many shops and supermarkets are nearby, as well as the noise and safety level of the neighborhood.
Besides location, money is another factor that is considered most. If you find a room whose price fits your budget, that’s good. However, then you should check whether the price is inclusive or exclusive of gas, water, electricity and internet. Then, is there any additional fee you have to pay (cleaning service, packing, fixing,..)? If yes, how much will it cost? Does the money still fit in your budget? And one thing you should be aware of is the additional administrative fees. According to Dutch laws, in some cases, it is illegal to charge students for the mediation costs.
4.The real conditions of the room
Let’s imagine that you’ve found a real room on a housing website. The pictures look stunning with newly renovated bedroom, clean kitchen, and common area. Therefore, you decide to rent the room and sign the contract online. When you arrive, the whole scenario changes. It turns out that the pictures were taken years ago when it was just renovated. Now, the room looks like a mess with old, broken furniture and a lot of dust. The kitchen and common area hasn’t been cleaned for a long time, seem dirty and even have some mice. The sad thing is that even you are not satisfied with the real conditions of the room, you can’t do anything since the contract was signed. Trust me, this is a popular case which happens to many people already.
So what should you do? Again, A VIEWING is necessary for this situation. You should visit and check the apartment yourself. There are some tips for house viewing here, which can be useful for you.
In case you are far away, don’t worry, we, as Flattrust, can do it for you. Our Flat Check service will help you have an as-close-as-reality look at the room. We attend viewing on your behalf, evaluate the property and create a virtual reality tour that you can use to evaluate the property yourself. With Flat Check, you won’t be afraid of the situation mentioned above anymore.
5.The agency and landlord
Some agencies and landlords have a bad reputation for treating customers, especially students. They try to rip tenants off during the stay or even not return the deposit. Thus, before deciding, you should ask other fellow students who are living in the area and have some experience with this. They will tell you which agency is trustworthy and which is not. Bad landlords are harder to define than an agency. However, to protect yourself, before signing the contract, you should read it carefully and notice the conditions that are unclear and can be bad for you, especially the part of what fee you have to pay and what you don’t, as well as the points related to the deposit.