Our Top 10 Tips for Student Tenants
1. Don’t Rush
Many people hurry to find their accommodation for the next academic year way in advance, but it’s sensible to take your time and make sure you get the right property for you. All types of accommodation continue to be available all the way through to September.
2. Know what you’re looking for
Student properties come in all shapes and sizes and can vary significantly in terms of size, location and condition so figure out what you do, or don’t want at the outset.
3. Decide who to live with
Make sure you know and get on with the people that you are going to live with, particularly if you are a first year and have only known your future housemates for a few months.
4. Decide where to live
Many student properties are concentrated in areas such as Lenton, Dunkirk and Beeston but others can be found in other locations around the city.
Before settling on an area, ask yourself:
- Where do I buy groceries from?
- Is it close to my gym, favourite pub or friends?
- Is there public transport nearby?
- How do I get to campus?
5. Know what facilities you want
Make sure you know what you are getting for your money. There can be large variation between houses, so think about:
- Are the bedrooms of equal size?
- How many WCs/Showers are there?
- Are there enough communal facilities?
- Do I need parking? If there is a resident parking scheme, how do I get a permit?
- How do I store my bike?
6. Know your budget
The weekly rent is only one part of your costs. You should consider also letting fees, deposit, bills and how long your contract is for. Paying £78 per week on a 48 week contract is less than £75 per week on a 52 week contract – so make sure you know what you are signing up for.
7. Is the property accredited?
Find out if a property you like complies with the ‘Nottingham Standard’ which establishes an overarching minimum standard for privately rented accommodation across the city.
8. Find out about the Landlord/Agent
Make sure you know who will be managing the property after you move in. Are they trustworthy and experienced? If dealing with an Agent, are the members of a regulated industry body such as RICS or ARLA? If dealing direct with a Landlord, are they registered with DASH, UNIPOL of council accreditation?
9. Decide whether bills inclusive or exclusive is right for you
Whilst arranging your bills yourself (exclusive) is almost certainly likely to work out cheaper than having bills included, some students like the certainty of having fixed monthly outgoings.
Bear in mind that inclusive rents usually have a ‘fair usage allowance’ which means you could pay extra if you use more than normal usage. Find out about the different rents for renting a property either inclusive or exclusive.
10. Find out the process for moving in
What can you expect when it comes to moving into the property? Some questions to ask are:
- Will I have to pay a ‘retainer’ meaning that I start paying before I can move in?
- Will the property be professionally cleaned prior to my tenancy?
- How will we agree the condition of the house when I move in?
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