Our Guide to Renting Student Accommodation
For many of you reading this, it will be the first time you’ve rented a property with your friends. To help you, we have compiled a check list of useful tips and information to consider before you sign a tenancy agreement.
- Firstly make sure you’re happy with the group you’re going to live with, don’t feel you have to rush into making a decision as there’s plenty of good quality properties on offer.
- Newcastle & Durham have lots of different student friendly areas whether in the City Centre or surrounding areas. Make sure that the location is suitable for your needs. If you want to find the more popular student locations, check out our guide on the best student places to live.
- Accommodation budget –factor in utility bills if not inclusive, TV licence, contents insurance and food shopping. Rents across the region vary greatly. Also remember to multiply the weekly rent by 52 weeks and divide by the number of months of your tenancy to obtain the true monthly rent. Some landlords like their rent paid termly, over 10 months or yearly. Check this before you sign. Full time students are except from Council Tax.
- Using a Letting Agent – most agents advertise properties that are owned by a private Landlord and offer a Tenant Find or Fully Managed Service. All agents by law have to disclose their fees upfront in their advertising. Make sure you are aware of the fees, advance rent and damage deposit, in addition to length of contract. Most student tenancies are 12 months long.
- Check the Letting Agent has an accreditation or is part of a Property Ombudsman scheme – make sure you’re dealing with a professional agency who can guide you through the process and answer your questions.
- Read the AST – always read the contract before signing AST (Assured Shorthold Tenancy), if you’re unsure, ask the agent to explain any clauses you do not understand.
- Damage Deposit – this must be protected in a scheme by law within 30 days, you must be issued with prescribed information (this may form part of your tenancy) and know where your money is held. At Acorn we issue the prescribed information to you on behalf of the landlord.
- Safety – At the beginning of your tenancy make sure you have all the correct certificates in place. By law a landlord must provide you with a CP12 (Gas Safety Certificate) if there is gas.
- Inventory – Tenants will be in a much stronger position to argue about maintenance issues and deposit disputes if they have signed an inventory at the beginning of the tenancy; or have taken photographs of the property on the day of moving in. These should be date and time stamped.
Renting a property can be complex, why not give us a call or pop to our office and let us help accommodate you?