So, you’ve just completed your first year of university and are looking for a way out of student dorms. More than likely, you will have never rented a property before, so before you race ahead and agree to the first flat you see, you should take some time to research and assess the properties you look at before making a final decision.
To help you choose the right student flat, you should take a look at the following tips which will help you understand the renting process and allow you to exercise your tenant rights.
When looking for the property, the first thing to consider is the location, as you need to make sure that your journey to lectures isn’t too long. You could start by looking at properties surrounding your university, although these may not be within your budget or will most likely be too small to fit you and your flatmates.
If you’re a student at a central university, you may be best looking on the outskirts, which will mean you’re not paying city-centre prices but are still a short walk away from your place of study. Property companies like RW Invest offer affordable properties for students in Liverpool universities, which offer luxury accommodation in a prime location. This gives tenants convenient access to their university, as well as shops, bars, restaurants and more – which allows them to benefit from the full student experience.
If you lived in halls in your first year, you will understand some of the costs associated with student living. However, there are some differences with a private student flat, for example, you may have to pay all your bills separately, in comparison to your student accommodation where you paid everything together. You need to consider costs such as your rent, utility bills, Wi-FI, TV license and more to establish whether the flat is a viable option for you.
If the landlord does not include utility bills within the tenancy, you will have to sort it yourself, which may seem daunting but can actually save you a significant amount. To make sure you’re making a saving, you should inspect the appliances and fixtures to ensure there are no issues such as leaks which may cause your energy bills to shoot up. A lot of modern properties now feature smart meters, which will help you monitor your usage and prevent you from overspending.
Even if you find a property that you’re interested in and are eager to move in, you should hold fire before reading every single detail in the tenancy agreement. This will contain all of your rights, including deposit protection, which is what you pay at the beginning of your tenancy and you should receive this back if no damages occur. By law, your landlord must secure your deposit in a tenancy deposit scheme to protect them and you, if they do not, you can sue them for four times the cost of the deposit.
As a private tenant, there are several rights that should be stated in the tenancy agreement, including eviction periods, maintenance issues, and inventory. The latter should be checked before you move in, for example, make sure you check your washing machine to ensure it is working correctly, and if not you should report this to your landlord before you sign the agreement.