Arthur takes a look at the top things to consider when moving into your new home!
Leaving university halls can be a daunting experience when you know most things are taken care of including bills, security and maintenance. When you are finding accommodation, there are certain things to look out for and consider.
1.) The contract and payment plan
Make sure you decide your payment plan with your estate agent that is best suited to you. Try and not get locked into a 12- month contract if you are only studying for 8-10 months, many are caught out. Ensure you check when the break clause is and how much notice you need to give; most university academic years are shorter than a year so be wary as this could save you hundreds of pounds. Additionally, it might be worth having your contract looked over to make sure there are no loopholes. Note if bills are included or not and check if the rent price is appropriate considering this, bills can be expensive and a hassle to sort out in an HMO for instance.
2.) Right to Rent checks
It is very important to take photographs of your new home or check the photographs provided to see they match the current state of your property. This will stop you being charged for any damage left by previous tenants and the photographs provide evidence for this. Don’t be scared to challenge your agent/ landlord if you aren’t happy with your inventory, you may be a student but you’re still a paying tenant! It’s essential to know where your meters are as it’s your responsibility to contact your gas, electricity and water suppliers to give these readings when you arrive so you don’t end up paying the previous tenants bills.
It is worth insuring your valuables with an insurance company. Content insurance covers laptops, phones, cameras and stains to carpets. It is unlikely that your landlord will offer insurance so it’s your responsibility to investigate into this. Most aren’t expensive and could save you thousands in worst case scenarios.
The most important thing to remember is that you are still a paying tenant, it does not matter that you’re a student! This is how 90% of landlords, managing agents etc. will view you. But, it is best to protect yourself just in case! Furthermore, every university has a housing office – they will know the law and what steps you need to take. When in doubt, ask for advice.