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Thursday, 17 November 2016

3 Things To Consider When Renting A Student House

If you are a student looking to rent a property for next year, there is no better time to start looking than now. The earlier you get it sorted, the less stress it will be and you won't be left choosing from the less popular houses. I've decided to share some advice about the things I've learnt when renting as a student...



1. Agreements 
It's no secret that estate agents can take advantage of students, and believe me when I say I've experienced this first hand. When renting a house as a student is is very important to read through all of the terms and agreements before signing anything. It may look long and tedious, and there will be a lot of boring stuff, but it is 100% worth it. Last year my friends and I signed our tenancy agreement without reading it (we were eager to secure our new house!) and it turns out there was a lot of vital stuff we didn't know about. When our washing machine completely broke, we called up our estate agents to tell them and to ask for a maintenance man to be sent out to have a look (the usual procedure for student rental), and we were told that this was not possible. Turns out in our agreement we had agreed that any household items that broke or became faulty was our responsibility to fix and replace! So we all had to put our money together to buy a new washing machine which we then had to leave for the next tenants - not ideal. Always read through everything and ask your estate agent or landlord any questions you have before signing anything.

2. Fees 
When renting out a house as a student, there will be lots of different fees that you are expected to pay. As you are a student and this is presumably your first time renting your own property, you won't be too clued up when it comes to fees and extra charges - and this is where some estate agents can really take advantage. Paying agency fees and guarantor fees is a pretty normal procedure, but make sure that the prices are reasonable and you are not being overcharged. Have a look on thisismoney.com (it really helped me!) to find out whether your fees are unreasonable, and if so look for a property that will charge you lower fees.

3. Deposits 
As with any property, you will be expected to put down a deposit before moving in. Estate agents are a little notorious for charging students a stupid amount for "damage" when moving out of the property at the end of the tenancy agreement. One way to avoid this is to take pictures of every room and area in the house the day that you move in. Make sure that the photos are timestamped so that you can clearly see the date they were taken, and if you want to take extra precaution in protecting your deposit, email the pictures over to your estate agent the day that you take them. This will ensure that they are in their records. Make sure that you photograph any stains, marks, rips, scratches and damages around your property - basically anything that you could potentially be charged for. If you do not have photographic evidence of the state of the property before you move in, there is a chance that you will get charged for any damage when you leave.

For more student advice, read my So... You're Going To Uni? and Things To Consider When Renting As A Student posts!

8 comments:

  1. Really useful advice - especially for those renting for the first time. I also think it's important to make the property feel like home by adding your own touch without breaking any rules, so lots of rugs, colourful cushions and wall prints if you are not allowed to paint walls....

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  2. Great advice! This would've been useful to read before I rented for the first time.

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  3. I was so lucky my Mum let me stay at home. Great advice though! xo

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  4. What a useful post - I actually realised a lot of this the hard way when I was renting as a student!

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  5. Great advice, I've been through the student letting system and it definitely pays to do your research before you enter into legal agreements.

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  6. This is fab! I didn't go to uni but I'm at the age where my friends are there and I have a few younger friends considering to rent, so this is ideal for me to share with them! x

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  7. Great advice for anyone needing to rent a student house, glad I'm way past that now.

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  8. My son is going to be doing this next year, and is thinking about it now. Part of the problem is Estate Agents make it up as they go along and don't really understand the law so students or anyone entering into a legal agreement don't often know how to challenge them

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