The Student's Guide for Picking a Student Property in Leeds
15th October 2018
So, you’re here because you’re renting your first student property, right? And it’s pretty scary out there in the real world isn’t it? There are just so many options, so many letting agents (who are all the “best in the business”, which is obviously not true, because we are!), so many things to consider and think about, and that’s before you’ve even chosen which area you’d like to live in (the one with the most bars, obvs!)… We understand how overwhelming it can be. But, fear not, we’re here to help you on your way to finding the perfect student house!
One of the first things you should probably think about is your budget. You might already have an area in mind that you’d prefer to live in, however, being realistic about your monthly budget may make you change your mind. Once you’ve figured out what your budget is, this can help you to narrow down what your options may be. Don’t forget, you don’t want to completely skint yourself just on the rent and bills; you’re still allowed to have a social life even when you’re trying to adult. There are some letting agents who offer all-inclusive rent/bill packages, so this is something to consider to make your life easier and help you manage your budget better; let them deal with all the boring stuff!
Once your budget is set, you can start to look at which areas are within you budget and are going to be most suitable for what you want. Of course, the most important thing you need to look at when you’re checking out areas is, where the bars at? Are they in walking distance, making it easier for you to stumble home after a few ‘cheeky’ beers? You should also consider how close the property is to your university campus, do you need to factor transport costs in to your budget, or are you able to roll out of bed and crawl your way to your lectures, after a few too many ‘cheeky’ beers?
Is there Wifi?
We’ve found that one of the most important things to previous students is their need to stay connected. I mean, how traumatic would it be if you couldn’t snapchat all of your mates with what you’re having for tea?! Who knows what will happen if you’re not able to see constant updates on what Kim Kardashian is doing! Oh, and of course, you will need to connect to the Internet to get your Uni work done, but that’s not what’s important here!
To avoid this, feel free to ask the letting agent who their current Internet provider is and possibly check to see what the Internet speeds are like in that area. Trauma-averted.
Once you have a few properties lined up, you should arrange a viewing with the letting agents. You wouldn’t agree to a relationship with someone just from seeing a filtered selfie and their Tinder profile, would you? So, don’t just sign an agreement with a letting agent without meeting them and seeing the property first. You can make a list of things to check for once you’re there, and things you’d like to ask questions about. For example, is there central heating? What are the communal areas like? Is the fridge big enough to store enough alcohol? Are there wooden floors, to avoid staining carpets with coffee *cough* wine? Is there a TV in your bedroom? Is there a plug socket close enough to the bed, so that I can plug my phone in and still be able to check Twitter in bed? You know, all the important things…
Don’t be afraid to be a bit nosey, take a good look around and ask as many questions as you like. Check for things such as damp and mould, and the cleanliness of the place. Just because you’re a student, doesn’t mean you have to live in squalor!
Living in a shared house can be a bit daunting for some people, especially when you don’t know who you’re going to be living with. For others, they might just not want to end up in a house full of boring losers, right?
So, before you make any decisions on your student house, see if you are able to meet the housemates. It might be a good idea to try and arrange to go for a drink with them before agreeing to anything, and obviously that’s an excuse to go out for a drink, so win/win!
Before signing your life away to the letting agents (ok, maybe not your life but like… 12 months), read through and check all of the contracts and agreements. We know it’s a lot of reading, and it’s all the boring stuff, but it’s important to know what you’re signing up to.
The last thing you want is to sign something and then realise that you can’t have parties every weekend until 4am. I mean, I really doubt that a letting agent will include that in their contract, but you just never know!
Get Ahead of the Game
Make sure you don’t leave it until last minute to start looking for your student accommodation. Everyone wants nice student digs, and you can always leave it up to those annoying Sensible Sally’s to rush to snap up all the good ones as soon as they’re available, and leave you to procrastinate so that you end up with the grotty leftovers that no one wants. So, do yourself a favor and start looking ASAP… You can go back to being a student slob once you’ve found your accommodation, but for now, you need to become a Sensible Sally and get ahead of the game (we won’t tell anyone).
If you’re ready to start looking for your perfect student property, speak to the team at DEU Estates. We own all of our own properties, which means we pride ourselves on the quality of our student accommodation, and it also cuts out the middleman when it comes to any repairs or maintenance work. Plus, like we said at the start, we are THE best letting agents in Leeds, so it’s a no-brainer really!