For students, excitement at the prospect of renting their first property can quickly become overshadowed by confusion about what it takes to secure good rental accommodation. Follow our tips, and we’ll help put you in a good position to find the perfect student digs.
Top tips for finding the right student accommodation
There are a few essential tips that first-time renters must know to secure the right property:
- Know your budget: This will determine the rental options and potential areas open to you but don’t forget to budget for monthly bills, travel costs and fees associated with securing a rental property.
- Gather documents: These may be needed for reference checks and include college enrolment confirmation, character references and documents for any guarantor you may need. Getting paperwork together at the start of a property search will save you time later when you need to move quickly to secure your rental property.
- Understand property costs: In addition to rent, will you be liable for utility bills, council tax, deposits, letting agent fees, insurance, broadband? What you need to pay for will vary from property to property, and different letting agents may charge different fees. Take time to understand the costs of each property and make sure it’s within your budget.
- Make sure your deposit is safe: Deposits should be held in a tenancy deposit protection scheme by your landlord, so it can be repaid when you leave or held until any disputes are settled by independent arbitration, for example, for damages, unpaid bills or cleaning costs. The ruling may affect the amount of deposit you get back.
- Read the contract: Always read the contract, including the small print! It should include the basics, such as when rent is due, deposit amounts, tenancy dates, bills, your rights and the landlords’ rights, etc. If there’s anything you’re not sure about, ask. Do not feel pressured into signing anything until you are ready. Any changes you agree should be in writing and not just verbally agreed.
- Check the inventory: There should be a thoroughly detailed list of the property’s condition and all the items within it and should be agreed upon by the tenant and landlord. Ideally, they will also include photographic evidence. You should raise any discrepancy with the inventory straight away.
- Be safe: Ask for in-date gas safety certificates and for proof of electrical inspections and legionella checks. Check that fire regulations are being adhered to, that doors, windows and gates lock properly, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are fitted and consider contents insurance for your own valuables.
- Find reputable landlords and letting agents: Members of professional organisations, such as the National Landlords Association or Association of Residential Letting Agencies, will work to required standards and adhere to legal obligations and will be happy to provide references from other customers.
Being prepared and understanding your rights will make your property search go more smoothly and your experience of renting feel less daunting. It will give you the confidence to ask the right questions and feel assured that you will know when you have found the right place for you.
No Letting Go: your letting partner
If you would like to discuss how our local support or national network at No Letting Go could become your property inventory partner, streamline your cost and reduce workload then contact No Letting Go today
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