Things To Consider When Looking For A Student Property
12th November 2019
Moving into a student property can seem like a big step, and may be quite daunting if the world on renting property is entirely new to you. Many people end up paying more than expected, and find that there are endless problems when they move in to the property.
We have put together a quick guide of things to look out for when you're looking for a student property, so that you don't get caught out or tied into a rental in a property that isn't for you.
The last thing you want to do is end up taking a property that you can't afford, or falling in love with a property that is outside of your budget. So, before even looking at any properties, make sure you have set yourself a budget that you can afford to pay for rent. Use a budget calculator to work out all the costs, and see what you can afford. Money Advice Service (https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/how-much-rent-can-you-afford) have a great one, which can help you to work out how much rent you can afford, on top of the most common bills you will also have. This can help you to narrow down which student properties to look for.
Once you have a budget set for your student property, then you can start looking at the areas in which there are suitable properties. If there are several areas that align with your budget, then you should look into area guides for each of the areas you're interested in to help you determine which is going to be most suited to you, as well as making sure that it's within walking distance of your university campus, and/or that there are good transport links for getting around.
Once you have your budget and the locations decided, then you can start viewing some student properties. Viewing properties can be exciting, but there are things you should remember to look out for when viewing these properties, to ensure you don't run into problems once you've already signed up.
This is something that should be taken serious when viewing a student property. You want to make sure that you are moving into a place where you can feel safe and secure, and that you're not vulnerable to break-ins due to poor security on the property. So, whilst you're viewing, just be sure to check things like doors and windows, and how secure they appear to be - do all of the windows have locks? Are the locks on the doors secure? Is the property fitted with a security system/alarm? Also, if necessary, make sure to check such as the front and back of the property - do they have gates? Can the gates be locked?
And finally, always be sure to check for fire and carbon monoxide alarms, as well as fire extinguishers/blankets. All rental properties are required to be fitted with working fire alarms. If you are looking at moving into a House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO), there must also be clearly marked fire exits. It may be worth looking into the rules and regulations that landlords must abide by when renting HMOs.
Damp & Mould
Unfortunately, damp and mould can be a big problem in rental properties. Living in a property that has a damp and mould issue can not only be extremely unpleasant, but can also be bad for your health. So, when viewing a student property, make sure to look out for any signs of damp or mould. Check for marks on the walls or flaking paint/wallpaper, particularly in the corners or behind furniture. Sometimes landlords may just paint over any black marks on walls, but damp and mould can leave a musty smell, and if you feel the walls around a window you may be able to feel the damp seeping back through. If you even suspect that there may be an issue with damp or mould, that property is not worth the risk!
A lot of landlords and letting agents offer a all-inclusive bills deal for student accommodation. This can be a great way of combining all of your payments into one, and not having to worry about paying individual bills, or certain bills going up throughout the year. However, just be sure to check that you aren't going to end up paying more, just for the convenience. Don't be afraid to ask questions to make sure you're getting a good deal.
If you are sorting and paying these bills yourself, without an all-inclusive bills deal, you can do some research and, using comparison websites such as money supermarket, shop around to get a rough idea of what the energy bills etc are likely to be on certain properties. This will also help to give you a better idea of whether all-inclusive deals are the way to go.
Don't be afraid to ask the letting agents about all-inclusive bill deals. They may not have this advertised, but this may still be something that are able to offer.
Appliances & Furniture
When viewing a property there may be certain pieces of furniture and/or electrical appliances still in the property. It never hurts to ask the letting agents which items of furniture and appliances are staying within the property, or whether things can be removed upon request. For example, if you already have your own bed that you wish to bring with you when you move into the new property, you can sometimes ask the letting agents if the bed already in the property (if there is one) can be removed.
When it comes to the electrical appliances, don't be afraid to check that these are all working properly when you view the property, and check for any damaged wiring etc that may be dangerous. That can usually include such as a kettle, toaster, cooker, microwave, fridge/freezer, washing machine. If any of these appear not to be in working order, bring this up to the letting agents and they may agree to get things replaced prior to you moving in.
Don't forget to make sure there are going to be enough appliances for the amount of people living in the property. You don't want to be fighting with your roommates for fridge space!
This may seem like a silly one, but this can be something that's so easy to overlook and forget about when it comes to renting a property. Whilst viewing a property, just turn on the taps in the kitchen and bathrooms to make sure that they have a decent water supply/pressure. The last thing you want to do is have to take it in turns having a shower, in a house of 6 people, because the water pressure isn't up to scratch.
Also, it's a good idea to flush the toilets in the property, to make sure you don't have any nasty surprises once you move in and find that it doesn't work properly!
Moving into a rented student property can be exciting but can also be rather daunting, especially when this is not something you're used to. As long as you're smart about things before arranging viewings, you have your budget set, and your checklist of things to look out for when viewing, there's no reason not to be excited.
If there is anything you're unsure about during the process, whether it's about rent, bills, the area, whether or not you can put things up on the wall in your room. Whatever it is, your letting agents are there to help you out and answer any questions.
DEU Estates have a wide range of quality student homes available at affordable prices throughout the Leeds areas, and our team of student lettings agents are here to help you find the perfect accommodation for you. Don't hesitate to get in touch today.