Guidance for students looking to rent a property to see them through university.

When it comes to renting a property to see you through university, you’ll often end up in Uni-provided student accommodation for the first year.

Hassle-free and designed to maximise social interaction, halls are a good choice but leave you unprepared when it’s time to sort private accommodation.

Before you choose your home away from home, here’s LetsLiveHere’s advice on things to consider.

Pick a sensible location

Student halls are situated close to campus, but private accommodation can vary wildly in location. Decide whether you’d like to live in a busy city centre style environment complete with nightlife or if you’d prefer to be further removed in a quieter area and commute in. Generally speaking, the further from the city centre, the cheaper your rent will be, so this is something to bear in mind.

To Let SignDevise (and stick to) a budget

Renting privately means paying a deposit, any fees, utility bills and other costs. Full-time students are exempt from council tax but will have to budget for all the other things that drain finances. On top of that, you’ll need to pay rent. If you’re moving in to shared accommodation, which is very likely in your second and third years, you’ll need to all agree on a budget and also to have guarantors who can be contacted if one of your group fails to pay rent.

Thoroughly inspect potential properties

When it’s time to take a look at a property with an official viewing, you’ll need to keep your eyes open to spot potential problems such as:

• Mould/Damp – Check wardrobes, cupboards, windowsills and other nooks and crannies for signs of mould.

• Pests – insects and other pests can be hidden by a landlord. Look out for droppings, snail trails, dead husks or other signs of insect life.

• Make sure the water and electricity works properly.

Check furniture and fittings and note down any damage so you’re not charged when you move out.

• Assess the property’s security systems – does it have a strong lock? An alarm? If you’re in a block of flats, you’ll want good lighting and security doors.

Quiz the landlord

When viewing a property, you’ll have the chance to quiz the landlord about any remaining questions you’ve got. If they struggle to answer simple queries about the nature of the property, take it as a warning sign.

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