Well, this academic year is coming to an end sooner than you think. So maybe it’s time we talked about housing for the next year. If you are lucky enough to stay put at your current flat/house, then skip this post; if not, here are some tips I think might be of use to you guys who are looking for a place to stay next year.
1, The number one rule is never to rush. See as many houses as you can before picking one. You never know, the next house could be a dream place! If you’re pressured to sign the contract, beware. It might not be as great as it seems to be!
2, Always view the house where possible and try to speak to the current housemates. They’ll be able to tell you the things that you won’t find out otherwise.
3, Read your contract thoroughly and get it checked by the Law Pro Bono office. I got mine checked with them. Especially, if it’s your first time renting a place, you need all the helps you can get when it comes to legal issues.
4, It’s not just the rent level you need to think about to make a budget. Check the bill rates that you have to pay if the place is not bills included (Internet, water, electric, gas…)
5, Find out if the property will be fitted with a smoke alarm and Carbon Monoxide detector. Safety first
6, You should look for a house with double glazing, it would save you a lot of heating bill especially during the winter. Wood floor, or preferably carpet floor is also recommended. Remember to check the type of heating the property is using as well.
7, As a student, you are exempted from council tax so make sure your landlords knows this. Sometimes, you have to summit a copy of your university registration document to them, but usually, the university has already done this for you.
8, Check carefully the location you will be staying. Some areas are not very safe at night that you might want to avoid. Research online, look around on several websites to see what people comment about the place.
9, You will have to pay a deposit and make sure you collect it at the end. Expect to pay at least the cost of a month’s rent for the deposit together with the first month’s rent in advance. When you do move in, ensure you take pictures of anything suspect and arrange for the landlord to fix anything that needs repairing straight away and throughout your time in the accommodation if necessary.
10, Think carefully about who you are living with. If you are going to find a room in a shared accommodation, make sure you ask the landlord about who you might be sharing with. If you are to live with your best friends then that would be great!
That’s my tips on finding accommodation for next year! Really hope it would be useful to you guys! Good luck on house hunting!