Student rental market: news roundup
1. Tenants should always ensure that any monies are paid into an accredited deposit scheme, protected under one of the three Government approved Tenancy Deposit Protection Schemes.
2. Speak to other students or check university advice websites for first-hand experiences of renting in your preferred area. The amount of student accommodation available and the average rent charged can vary significantly depending on location
3. For peace of mind, be sure to seek advice from a lettings agent affiliated to a professional organisation like ARLA.
4. Find out what kind of tenancy agreement you are signing as this can make a difference to your liability. Many shared tenancies will have several joint liability clauses – meaning you are responsible for the actions of your co-tenants for the terms of the tenancy, and not just the payment of rent.
5. When working out your budget it is important to factor in other costs on top of the weekly or monthly rental rate. Utility bills, TV licence and internet access costs will all need to be factored in, even if you are sharing the cost with other tenants.
6. Areas dominated by student accommodation can have higher-than-average burglary rates so security should always be a key consideration when looking for a rental home.
7. Often students will have personal property covered by their parents’ contents insurance, but it is important to check the specific policy wording.
8. Always ensure you are provided with a comprehensive inventory, listing the fixtures and fittings within the property, detailing their condition and that of the property itself.
9. Ask the current tenants about their time in the property, if you get the opportunity. They will be well placed to give a frank assessment of any pros and cons, as well as an honest insight into any maintenance or repair issues.
10. If you are planning to rent a property with other tenants, it is imperative to ensure that the landlord has the relevant Homes in Multiple Occupancy (HMO) licence, as this is a legal requirement which can differ in certain parts of the country and within areas of a town or city.
Student lets – a guide for landlords
Log on to a live and interactive WebTV show tonight at 7pm at www.letyourproperty.tv looking at the issues facing landlords when it comes to student lets and answer questions live. How can you find the best student tenants? What ground rules need to be put in place from the start? How can you make sure your property is in good shape when they leave? And how do you make sure you have the right insurance in place? The show will feature advice from James Davis, CEO of Upad, Paul Shamplina from Landlord Action and Eddie Hooker from Total Landlord Insurance.
Finding a housemate
Accommodation for Students (AFS) have a ‘find housemates’ link where students can post what they are looking for or advertise spare rooms for free. “Remember, there will be plenty of other students in the same situation as you that you could pair up with, just get online and use student websites and forums to find them ” says Simon Thompson, co-founder and director.
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