Follow these steps and tips if the next student accommodation you want to find is high quality, good service, and an enjoyable experience.
Research The Student Accommodation
This is like researching for an assignment, you need to know what is out there, however, more importantly, you need to know who to avoid and who to go and see.
There will be some landlords and providers that have a very good service that is reputable and then there are some out there that you will get a bad experience and these are the ones you want to stay away from.
Always View The Accommodation
During the pandemic, yes it might be something you can’t do physically, however, if you can do it virtually then make sure you do it. If the landlord or provider is offering to take you on a virtual viewing then take them up on it because you will be able to see the house.
Having a virtual viewing is a great thing because you can view the house whenever you like and can build up an image of what it will be like, however, the house is at it’s very best and the best providers will make sure it looks like that when you move in, others may have had that take 5 years ago and the quality isn’t as it is on the virtual viewing.
If you can view always do and don’t be afraid to follow these steps in what to do and ask when on a virtual viewing.
This is a bit not many will do but I will break it down into some key areas to focus on so you don’t have to read the whole tenancy, however, I think you should give it a good read.
Most tenancies will be very similar, so once you have read one, you have read most and they will all be adapted to suit the provider.
Deposits – Make sure you know how much your deposit is and what scheme they are registered with. Just a simple question and they should be able to tell you.
Rent – Ask when you pay and how you pay. Usually by bank transfer but a lot ask for termly rent and some ask for monthly.
Cancellations – If you need to leave for whatever reason, then you need to understand what it is going to cost you to leave. A lot of the time it is the full year’s rent if you can’t get someone to take over your tenancy which is why you will see so many Facebook posts about re-selling rooms.
Responsibilities – Know what you are liable for and know what the landlord is liable for. This will help you keep the house in good order and make sure you can stay on top of all the important bits.
Speak & View More Than One Agent
You might have a preferred agent which is fine, however, always go to more than one agent and then you can compare service and quality of housing. This will help you understand who is good at what they do and who is bad.
If you are staying in PBSA type student accommodation you will need to look at what is included, many are very similar and will offer gyms, cinemas, study rooms, bikes, breakfast, etc. However, this is all in a bid to get you in their door, so make sure that if the prices are all the same, go with the one where you get the most and if there is a difference, I would go on what you value most for the deciding factor e.g. Location, price, rooms size, company etc.
Google Is Your Friend
Whoever you are searching for a house with, Google the company and see what the top few links are. If they are bad, they will have been spoken about in various articles and by other students and it will show up. This is a quick way to save yourself from a year of regret.
Once you have found a few places that you like, make sure that you compare them. For me, what I looked at when I was at university is the price, location, and bills included.
Your values might be different and you might prefer to be closer to uni and happier to pay more. However, make sure you have them in front of you and compare what each one has and whether the price matches the quality.
From the Knight Frank report in January 2020, the biggest common factor of what made students happy was the location and a lot of students looked for value before the final cost.
A lot of student accommodations can offer a lot of added extras and benefits but look at what you really get for your money. Don’t look at incentives for this because accommodations will earn that back in rent, really look at:
- Bed size
- Room size
- Bills included
- Type of service they offer
- Cancellation fees and other tenancy requirements
- Quality of housing
- What you get in your room or house
Booking Your New Student Accommodation!
Once you have done this and you are happy that they are what they say they are and you will be happy there, then don’t be afraid to book. You have reduced the risk massively by doing the research and going on viewings and reading the tenancies.