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?

UK Local Area
Street Check

What you need to take with you

  • Someone you trust
  • A pen and paper
  • Your phone

Last Updated: 29 June 2018

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