Commencing your studies in a strange and unfamiliar city can provide a bit of a shock, especially when it comes to the cost of living. If you’re planning to rent as a student, it’s worth thinking about a few of the challenges that life as a renter can present.
You’ll need to scrape together a deposit before you’re allowed to move in. This provides the landlord with a bit of security in case something should go wrong. In England, Wales and Scotland you’re legally required to pay this money into a government-protected deposit scheme, so don’t let your landlord tell you otherwise.
Do Your Research
Not all areas of a given city are going to be the same. Do your homework when you visit for the open day, and speak to other students about where the good areas are and where the not-so-good areas are. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Get Professional Advice
Anyone who wants to become a landlord can pretty much do so. This helps to drive up the supply of rental property, and thereby drive down the prices. But it also means that there are unscrupulous landlords out there who won’t have your back when the boiler unexpectedly breaks down. Fortunately, there are organizations who role it is to vet landlords, like ARLA.
Who are You Moving in With?
Just because you know and are friends with your housemates, doesn’t mean that they’ll be pleasant to live with. And even if you’ve shared accommodation with them before, they might not be entirely reliable when you’re having to pay rent every month. You don’t want to have to move out later on, so make sure that you make the right decision at the outset.
Read the Tenancy Agreement before Signing It
When you agree to move into a rental property, you’ll be asked to sign a document called a tenancy agreement. This stipulates, among other things, who is liable for damage. If you’re sharing the property with other students (whom you barely know), then this will expose you to risk when things go wrong.
Am I Insured?
In many cases, your parent’s contents insurance will cover the stuff that you take to university. But this isn’t always so, and you don’t want to be caught out because you didn’t read the fine print. If you are with a tenants insurance from Homelet, they’ll be covered. The tenant insurance will offer a deal that’s tailor-made to meet the needs of students. You should also make sure that you aren’t going to be turned down when you ask for a pay-out on the grounds that your security isn’t all that it could be – so check your locks and alarms when you first move in.