A Guide to Student Accommodation in 2017
Student accommodation can be somewhat of a minefield for first time students, especially if you are given the wrong advice.
With A-Level students just like yourselves across the nation currently in the middle of an arduous period of revision, study, exams and coursework; you may not be aware that there are many pitfalls to finding the right digs at the right price.
For this reason, our team of experienced student correspondents have put together a guide containing all you need to know about finding the perfect student accommodation in 2017. We have also added some quick tips on related topics which could ensure you continue to nail your accommodation and costs throughout your tenure at University.
Student’s Guide To Renting
When renting as a student, things are somewhat different to renting a house as an adult or graduate. There are many specialist student letting agencies in the vicinity of all University and these will often have the best options for large house shares or perhaps if you are keen on renting with particular groups.
If you are looking to rent something that bit nicer than your typical student house, perhaps on the luxury side; then there are plenty of providers that offer premium accommodation in the UK’s major cities. These will specialise in properties with all the mod cons, more space and with a sense of style and sophistication that you don’t see from the cheaper properties.
So, you can really choose a student house specific to your budget and needs and rent accordingly when at University; the choices these days are far more comprehensive than they have been over the years due mainly to the amount of quality student accommodation being built all over the country.
So, what should you be looking out for when you’re renting a student house through a letting agent?
Choose Your Agency Carefully
Firstly, be sure to choose the right letting agency. In today’s digital age you can really judge the quality of any company by looking at their reviews and the University you are attending will be able to give you sound advice too. Pick the wrong letting agent and you could end up paying a fortune in fees and end up with a substandard property.
As we have mentioned already, if you are looking for something more sophisticated then why not look at some of the luxury student accommodation agents in the town or city you are studying in. As long as you don’t mind paying that little bit more, then they could well provide the most viable option.
The Price Of Your Rent
Secondly, it of course goes without saying that you should be very wary of what you are paying for your rent at University. Students are often susceptible to being overcharged, especially if you don’t go through a reputable agent and end up dealing with a cowboy landlord.
When assessing whether or not to rent your student house, compare the size and quality of the property with others on the market and be sure to haggle. The price on many websites or even in letting agencies are asking prices and not set in stone, so be sure to stand your ground and you may be pleasantly surprised at how much you can drive the price down.
Assess The Property
The mistake many students make with regard to their accommodation, is not thoroughly examining their prospective home before signing on the dotted line. You should also carefully vet your landlord in order to ensure they are going to be vigilant when you are living in the house in terms of repairs and their other responsibilities.
Resources such as StudentPad provide excellent checklists on the kinds of questions you should be asking and traps you should avoid, especially when renting student accommodation. Tips like making sure your deposit is protected by an applicable scheme can save you hundreds of pounds in the long run.
Examine Your Contract In Detail
If you are unlucky enough to end up with one of the aforementioned cowboy landlords who unfortunately lurk in every student community, then it makes checking your contract properly all the more important.
Look out for clauses around who is liable to pay the rent should one of your friends disappear for whatever reason and also things such as upkeep of the garden, in which case they should have invested in the right tools.
If your parents or close friends are required to be guarantors, then they will no doubt want to know exactly what they are guaranteeing so maybe ask them to read over the contract and check there are no nasties in there. If the landlord wants to get the deal, then they will be willing to amend any contract clauses that you feel may be unfair or unnecessary.
We are confident that if you follow these steps and remain vigilant at every step of finding your perfect student accommodation, then you should end up with a property that is thrifty and comfortable; which let’s face it, is all that matters when you’re at University.
If you enjoyed this guide, why not take a look at some of the other great features we have here at Student Pocket Guide.