Student Renting, A Beginners Guide: Top Tips For Accommodation Hunting

Student Renting: A Beginners Guide
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With 2015 well under way, now is the time to start thinking about accommodation for next term.

However, for those who have never rented a property before, the process can be particularly daunting. Finding your perfect property in the perfect location can be a long process, and with lots to think about it’s easy to get stressed out with the whole thing.

To help you get through this, Michael Bruce, CEO at hybrid estate agency, shares his top tips on what to think about when looking for next term’s accommodation.

Best Friends Forever?

Whilst sharing a house with your seven new best friends may seem like a great idea, try to be realistic, as breaking a contract early will involve administration costs. You’ll be surprised how easily differing schedules will impact your day-to-day life.

Prime location

A key thing to consider when renting is location. It’s important to know the area you’re planning on moving to - will there be times when you’re travelling home after a night out on your own? If so, being close to a bus stop or train station would be sensible. If you’re still in need of some advice, Purplebricks Local Lettings Experts known their patch inside out and are always on hand to offer first class advice.

Best practice budgeting

Before you move in you’ll need to pay a deposit on top of your first month’s rent. The deposit is typically 4-6 weeks rent, which you’ll get back at the end of your tenancy providing the property is returned in the same condition as prior to entering into your tenancy, and it will be protected in a tenancy deposit scheme, which is there to help if there is a dispute at the end of the contract.

And more budgeting…

Estate agents will charge administration fees for helping you find a property and setting up a contract. Many high street estate agents charge anything between £100 - £300, but at Purplebricks we charge students just £72 plus VAT for application.

Bills, bills, bills

Anticipate all the different bills you’ll need to pay, and how you want to pay them. Gas, electricity and water can all be paid by monthly direct debit or paid quarterly, or if you’re on a meter you’ll have to ‘pay as you go’. Shop around for a good deal and when you first move in make sure you take note of the gas and electricity readings so you aren’t over-charged. At Purplebricks we can take care of the whole process, as we work alongside a variety of utility companies to offer tailored tenancy specific solutions.

Exemplify yourself

Students are not required to pay council tax so get a council tax exemption form from your local council to make sure you’re not caught out with any large bills.

Essential TV viewing

If a house has a TV in it, it needs a TV license and you can pay for this in a one-off yearly payment or by lightening the load through a monthly direct debit.

A record of your stay

When you first move into your property the landlord may complete an inventory outlining the properties condition. At the end of your tenancy the landlord will go through the inventory to ensure everything is as it should be and anything that has been broken will mean a cost deduction from your deposit.

Household bugbears

Running a household is never smooth sailing. Issues such as damp, mold and mice can be common problems but they’re easily avoided as long as you look after your house. Storing food properly, and keeping surfaces clean will keep mice at bay and airing out the house will prevent damp and mold!

Before You Go