When you get thrown into university halls at 18, you feel like an adult, but naturally, as we go on to later years in university, private renting is the most appropriate answer for most students. Privately renting properties with your friends sounds like a dream, but it is a legally binding contract, so making considerations beforehand is key! This is the rundown student guide to renting!
Before setting your eyes on any properties, determine what your budget is. Get to know your area to know what is good value for money and what is on the pricey side of the spectrum. You will also need to consider your own finances, how much can you afford to pay per year, for example? You’ll need to factor in bills, such as gas, electricity, and water into this number.
You have to think carefully about housemates. Most people will choose to live with friends, but conflicting lifestyles/ personalities can cause clashes. Signing a rent contract is legally binding, so talking ahead of time about how it will work is really important. If you’re quiet and an early-riser, a party animal housemate could be problematic in the long run. Living alone isn’t for everyone and often is more expensive.
List the important things
Most rented student properties will not allow animals, but you may also need a parking space or worry about the distance from your house to the university. Before putting money down on any property, list the things that are most important to you. This will make the house-hunting process so much easier and you’ll be much happier with the result if you make all these considerations beforehand.
Remember most students start looking for houses almost a year in advance! It sounds extreme but try and beat the crowd when it comes to having your first few viewings, they get booked up very quickly and you don’t want to be left with little to no choice!
As soon as you sign a contract, you will be aware of when your rent is due, whether that’s every month, or in a few installments. It is different for everyone and landlords try and make it work best around students. Get those dates in your calendar and set a reminder! There can be very serious repercussions for not paying your rent on time. I’d also say that putting your rent money in a separate money pot, for example with Monzo Bank, allows you to keep it away from your personal spending money. Alternatively, some banks allow you to round up all your spending to the next pound, meaning extra change gets put away into a savings account. This is a great way to save a bit of extra money without realising.
Deposits and Visits
Most landlords will require you to put down a deposit, that you can get back at the end of your tenancy if the house is in the same condition that it was given to you. Consider this when having house parties etc. as dents in the wall or broken furniture can quickly come back to bite you! Do not forget, the landlord has the right to visit the property whenever they’d like and do not need to give you a warning.