There are too many students who are caught in expensive traps when renting. Avoid costly surprises before you sign a lease with our tips.
According to the results of our National Student Accommodation Survey, nearly half of students believe that their university home is not good value in terms of value.
Make sure you resist the home-buying mania and view properties properly. It’s your chance to make an informed choice and avoid living in a place you resent.
Yes, there’s plenty to consider: from damp to deposits to bus stops, you’ll never conduct too much research. But our tips below will make life easier.
Where to look for student homes
Local student renting agencies are the ideal option when you are looking for housing for students at uni. However, some students prefer to work directly with the landlord.
It’s a further layer of security when you select an agency, since they’ll act as a middleman between you and the landlord. This is supposed to ensure that everything in the tenancy agreement is done by the law. But keep in mind that the price could be higher.
If you’re thinking of making the move to become a landlord, check in with your university accommodation service first. They might provide a directory of approved landlords in the area.
What questions to ask before viewing houses
Here are the top questions you can ask at the time of viewing a uni house or flat:
Are bills included?
Do you have an Gas Certificate?
What is how do I use the Energy Performance Certificate?
Are there discounts for renting during summer?
Which deposit schemes and deposits are there?
When does the deposit have to be paid?
How can we claim our deposit back at time of the end of the tenure?
Do you have an inventory of your belongings? What furniture and appliances are included?
Is there a car park or bike storage?
Do you have a sample tenancy agreement we could see?
Are there any agency/extra costs?
We’ll cover everything you need to look for when viewing an apartment or student home below.
What to look at when looking through a student house?
Here are 10 important things to keep an eye on while viewing a home:
Regulations on the standards of rented housing are improving But our recent accommodation survey found that 36% of the students had lived in houses with damp.
Don’t fall for the illusion that damp looks disgusting. It also smells gross it can cause damage to clothes and furnishings and may cause serious health issues (especially when you have asthma, hayfever or other illnesses that can impact your breathing).
When viewing a house take a look at all walls and ceilings – particularly near windows, corners or behind cupboards. Be on the lookout for flaking wallpaper as well as black mould spots and the smell of a musty odor. These are all indications, too.
If you decide to move in but discover that your landlord hasn’t resolved this damp problem, do some research on your rights as you may be legally able to sue the landlord.
Infestations are a major issue at student residences. Common pests include mice, slugs, fruit flies, the cockroaches, pigeons and even rats.
To be fair, it’s usually due to previous tenants leaving food and overflowing bins lying around. But it’s a shame to be liable to cover someone else’s mistakes.
Don’t be afraid to check your kitchen cabinets along with work surfaces and bins. Find traps, slug droppings and slug trails.
On the upper floor, look out for pigeons that are nesting on the roof. We can assure you that they will be very, very irritating.
The property’s location
It is well-known how vital it is to consider the location when deciding on student accommodation Leicester. The less time it takes to get out of bed and get to your classes the better, right?
If a residence near a university is a little too pricey then it’s vital to figure out the distance from decent transport links.
However, proximity to university (or the means to get to the university) isn’t the only aspect to think about when evaluating places. When traveling to the show be sure to look out for local amenities like supermarkets, newsagents and pubs.
Safety and security
Unfortunately, the crime rates in student areas tend to be quite high. It is well-known that youngsters who go home drunk in the night tend to leave windows and doors open, or forget keys are locked in the front door (we’ve experienced it ourselves).
Security is something all students must take into consideration when viewing a house. Ask if there’s an alarm for burglars, and make sure the doors are properly secured. Check that the main entrance that leads to the building is secured entry.
If you’re concerned about security, you should mention it with your landlord. They’re not in the business of preventing burglaries too, which is why they’ll be delighted to upgrade lock systems and gain access to points.
If you don’t know the region too well, do a bit of research to determine how safe it is. The houses on the main roads that are well lit tend to be the most secure. The quieter areas might appeal to certain college students but may have downsides when it comes to crime. No matter where your home is you live, follow our advice for protecting your home from burglars.
Also, remember to check whether the home is equipped with fire alarms, extinguishers, and fire blankets. In addition, if you’re an HMO (house in multiple occupation) it must be emergency exits marked.
If you’re in the presence of three or more students, your landlord must abide by stringent HMO rules. It’s a bit frustrating that despite being legally required it can be difficult to enforce. They’re there to ensure your safety and security. It’s best to check up about what they are by looking online or asking at your nearest council.
White goods and appliances that are electric
Be sure to determine whether your appliances are in good condition and functional. Be clear on what’s included in the tenancy agreement and inventory, too. For instance the washing machine will be in the tenancy agreement, but the microwave might belong to the current tenants.
If there’s any issue it is important to flag it to the letting agent or landlord. If required, you can have some additional words added to the tenancy agreement that ensures the landlord will address concerns prior to you moving in.
It’s also important to ensure there’s enough equipment to cater for the whole group. If you’re moving in with a group of six and there’s only one fridge-freezer that’s not going to work.
Be aware of plug sockets that look suspicious and cables that appear to be exposed or loose. These are extremely hazardous and must be taken care of before you even move in.
The water supply
If you have a group of kids using the bathroom several times a day, low water pressure isn’t a good sign for a peaceful household. When you’re watching TV make sure the faucets get a quick spin to ensure there’s no more than a dribble.
You may also want to check the flush on your toilet to make sure it’s working exactly as it is supposed to.
In the meantime take note of water spots or possible leaks. Water damage can be extremely expensive and could be hazardous.
Furniture and fittings
As previously mentioned, make sure you have an accurate idea of what’s included in your inventory, and also what’s excluded. A nice leather sofa might be a selling point, however, it could disappear before you even move in.
It’s also important to note that some estate agents advise that landlords letting to students must ensure that each tenant has chairs and a desk (if they promote the property as a house for students).
If you can, take a look at mattresses for damaged springs. These can become unsafe and uncomfortable with time.
Check that the house is well-insulated.
Everybody knows that energy costs are among the highest costs as a student (if you don’t pay them as part of the rent you pay). It is important to ensure that your home is properly insulated can make an impact of PS100s in energy bills through the year.
The main thing to consider is double-glazed windows, secure doors as well as a reliable heating system and a lack of drafty spots – these are all fairly easy to check yourself.
Make sure to feel the walls in the house as well. If they’re cold, that’s a sign that the insulation isn’t as good (and could lead to dampness within the walls). Doing these checks will help you save money on your energy bills.
Inspecting the roof for insulation isn’t as easy because it involves going to the loft. Your best option here is to simply ask your landlord how well insulated it is.
It’s also not a bad idea having a look at your roof from the outside to determine if any tiles are missing. If they’re missing, this could cause leaks throughout the year.
Resist freebies and scams
There are landlords who offer freebies that include huge TVs or no utility bills for the duration of the year in order to lure the tenant in. Beware of these types of gestures. While they may appear to be great deals however, the landlord could use these extra perks to justify renting the property for a higher rate.
It’s not that this is the norm However. You must be smart. A good TV is nice and well, however should it be adding higher than PS400 to your monthly rent it’s better off buying a brand new TV.
Talk to the current tenants
Nobody is more knowledgeable of what a house like to live in than the current tenants. They’re most likely to give an honest and accurate assessment, as they’ve no gain (or gain) in telling you anything different.
You can gain some understanding by asking a simple inquiry: “What are the best and worst things about this house? “.
If the landlord doesn’t look over your shoulder it is possible that they will alert you to something the landlord didn’t notice or is trying to cover up. If they appear happy and content, that’s the best proof you can obtain.
The residents of this house of horrors discovered in their conversations with prior tenants shortly after they moved in, talking to them prior to moving in can save you some stress down the road.
Take photos and videos during viewings to gather second opinions from friends/family and help yourself with making choices later.
In the competitive landscape of today's business world, generating high-quality leads is essential for sustainable growth and success. While businesses...