Finding a place to live as a student isn’t easy. You’ve probably already guessed as much. Sure, a few people get lucky and seem to nail the right place almost immediately. Many people will simply find that they don’t have that much choice. But plenty of people will find themselves agonizing over the choice. After all, this is where you’re going to have to spend some of the most important years of your life!
So it’s important to know what you should be on the lookout for when you’re browsing student accommodation. So here’s a quick but essential guide to the things you need to keep in mind!
Cheapest isn’t always best
Some students get so overwhelmed by flashy accommodation that they go for the most expensive options. They think it will impress their upcoming peers if they’ve got a flashy place. Most, however, will be sensible and stay within a good price range. But if the rent is really cheap – I’m talking £200 a month or so – then there’s probably a good reason.
The previous tenants
You should get to know as much about the place and the landlord as possible. You’re not going to get all that information from a look around the property and a chat with the owner! The best thing to do is to try to get in touch with the previous tenants. It’s possible that they’re still living in the property when you look at it! You can check Facebook groups or ask the landlord for such information. You could even try searching the landlord’s name on Google!
Changes you can make
If there are problems with the property, then you may not need to dismiss it outright. It’s possible you can have fixes and changes arranged. This is especially true if there are any hazards or particularly uncomfortable features. Things like mold and pests need to be dealt with right away, so ask the landlord how quickly those issues can be dealt with. You could even convince them to look into new student accommodation furniture. Have a talk with them about these things before walking away.
Getting to know the neighbourhood
So how much do you actually know about the area? The property itself may seem amazing. It could be on offer at a great rate. But the neighbourhood is something you have to research. This is something that a lot of students forget to do. You’ll want to check out the crime rates in that area. You have to remember that places with a lot of student accommodation tend to have a lot of booze joints! Nighttime wanderers might be putting themselves at risk in such an environment. Check the safety of the area and familiarize yourself with it.
I cannot emphasise this enough: read all contracts thoroughly before you sign any of them. This will help keep you protected financially and legally. It will also ensure that you know how to conduct yourself going forward! After all, the landlord will reserve the right to chuck you out if you violate the rules persistently. So make sure you know what all the small print says.