What you need to know
Working out if a place is the right place for you can be difficult.
You may not have many choices, so it is important you are organised when you are looking round a new flat or house.
Make sure you find out as much as you can about the place before making a decision.
Here are some ideas to make sure you find out what you need to know:
- When you are visiting the place for the first time, take someone with you that you trust
- Take a pen and paper so you can write down important information, like any repairs that need to be made
- Take photos on your phone so you can remember what the place looks like
- Look for things that need repairing before you move in: broken or cracked windows, dripping taps, damaged walls. Discuss them with the person showing you round, and ask if they will be fixed before you move in
- Ask if the place will be redecorated before you move in, and if there is any help you can get with this
- Ask how much the rent is, and how often it need to be paid – weekly or monthly
- Ask what kind of gas/water/electric (utilities) meters the house has, and how to get them turned on
- Ask whether or not you can have a gas or electric cooker, and if the heating is powered by gas or electric
- Ask where the stopcock is (to switch off the water supply) in case of emergency
- Ask if there are smoke alarms
- Ask how to switch the gas or electric off in case of emergency
- Check if there is a doorbell or entry phone, and if this works
- Ask about the neighbours, and the neighbourhood. Are there other refugees living nearby?
- Check if you are allowed to keep pets
Other things to think about
- Think about visiting the property and the area again at night, to see how the area feels.
- Think about where the nearest bus stop is, and how often the buses run
- Are there shops nearby where you can buy food?
- Is there a cash point or Post Office nearby where you can get money out?
- Where are the nearest schools?
What you need to take with you
- Someone you trust
- A pen and paper
- Your phone