Student Renting in the UK

publication date: Oct 1, 2009
 | 
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books
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Renting as a student in the UK can be quite a complex process. It’s not like renting as a professional or a family, most students have to secure the rental property AND agree the rental price ONE YEAR in advance!

This does depend on where you are going to college/university, as some areas are over supplied, but in the main if you don’t secure your rental property early, you may be stuck in a location and property some distance from where you are studying. 

What to be aware of when renting for the first time!
Rogue landlords love students! So you need to make sure you avoid them like the plague and they are easy to find. All you have to do as a student is to ask for three items and any landlord that can’t give you these for their property DO NOT rent from them as they are not renting their property out legally, and this can mean they treat you unfairly when things go wrong or you want your deposit back!

Three Things to Ask For!
Make sure when you visit a property the landlord can show you:-

1. Which scheme your deposit(s) will be protected in?
2. The Energy Performance Certificate?
3. A copy of the gas safety and/or the electrics being signed off as legal.

However much you love the property or how great the rent is, do not rent from any landlord or letting agent that cannot provide you with ALL this information.

What to Look out For!
Renting a home is NOT as easy as finding somewhere in the paper or via a private sign, then handing over a deposit and moving in. You MUST make sure:-

1. The landlord is renting to you legally
2. Your deposit is protected properly
3. The property is safe, just because a boiler is new, doesn’t mean it is legal!
4. Any problems you have with the property are sorted quickly
5. The landlord will allow you to live there without popping in unannounced
6. You understand what you need to do to get your deposit returned at the end of the tenancy

Places you can go for Help!
There are lots of places you can go for help and your first port of call should be the college or university’s accommodation office. They should know who the ‘good’ landlords are and the agents that will look after you. They may even have a list of rogue landlords to avoid!

The accommodation office will help you with student accommodation that they own and rent out and they may also have done deals with development companies such a Unite Students or Bournston.

Secondly you can go to specialist sites such as Accommodation for Students or Studentpad.

Finally, local lettings specialists (ie not estate agents that do sales too) will run a separate division for student accommodation. Examples of this are Student Living in Lincoln or Belvoir Lettings in York.

If you need any help finding student accommodation or have any problems you don’t know how to deal with, we are here to help! Contact us via email or tel 0845 838 1763.

 


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