News - Tips for finding the right accommodation for you! 06/12/2010
There are a number of points to remember when you are looking at prospective properties to rent. Try to find out as much as you can before visiting the property, to avoid wasting time. Think about the location, look it up on the map. Is it easy to get to the University campus? How accessible are the public transport links? Is it close to shops? This information has been designed to give you an overview of our top tips for finding off-campus accommodation.
It happens every year – stories circulate towards the end of the first term, causing panic among students in Chichester and Bognor Regis. DON’T LISTEN… DON’T RUSH IN… RENT RIGHT!!!
Every year, students rush in too early and rent houses for the next academic year that aren’t right for them. Convinced that what’s on offer in December is the best they’ll get, they settle for less and are usually facing problems by the same time next year.
Print a FREE copy of our checklist to take with you when viewing properties - it is at the bottom of this article...
- View as many properties as you can. Take a check list, remember to consider location, condition, internal/external structure, fire safety and security.
- Read the contract before signing it! If you're not sure about a contract, you should ask someone you trust to read through it with you or alternately ask the Citizens Advice Breuer.
- Ask what your responsibilities are? Whatever type of agreement you sign, you will be required to look after your property in a reasonable way - for example, emptying bins and keeping the house tidy and clean. Check you tenancy agreement in detail.
- Get an exact copy of the contract when you sign it. Make changes on the contract before signing. Never sign a contract with blank spaces cross them out.
- A deposit is usually a little more than a month's rent. It MUST be protected by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme. Your Landlord must provide you with details of where it is and how to get it back. Always get a written receipt for money paid to a landlord or letting agent.
- Is the holding fee refundable? Some landlords take one to ensure you will carry out the tenancy. They should state clearly when any money paid if it is refundable, if not make sure you ask them first. Sometimes this will turn into your security deposit.
- Bills, bills, bills… What is included in the rent? As soon as you move into your new place, let the utility companies know that you have moved in, so that they can bill you accurately.
- Ask how long the contract is for.
- Calculate your rent over the whole contract period in order to find the best deal.
- Find out how much notice you are required to give before moving out.
- Always ask for a receipt for any payment, especially when paying cash.
- Always read the contract especially the small print before signing and insist on a copy once it has been agreed. Verbal contracts are still legally binding.
- Make sure you have a copy of an up-to-date gas safety certificate. All appliances should be checked by a engineer that is on the Gas Safe Register, yearly.
- Make sure that the property has an electrical safety certificate.
- If the property has 5 or more bedrooms and is more than two storeys high, it should be licensed as a House of Multiple Occupation. Check with the local Environmental Health Department to ensure that the property is registered with them.
We hope you find these tips and information useful. If you require anymore information please contact us.
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