It's that time of year when the university population starts to look for their next student accommodation! Fraught with panic and worry students have this urge to sign up for their second year house after barely knowing the people they currently live with.
We have faced significant difficulties in some areas already this year with a larger intake than before at some universities and students already living over an hour away from their universities, such as students in Durham, Bristol and Manchester. While I accept they are run like businesses and there is nothing wrong with that I do wonder how our vulnerable students are surviving, with the additional pressure of not living in and around their campuses. There is enough pressure on young people to go to university without adding more when faced with trying to find somewhere to live, as early as this.
Some agents don't release their accommodation until the new year while others are already advertising what they have.
Having only moved to university in September and just getting used to shared living takes time. Effectively our students are still living with a group of strangers and a lot can change between now and next summer and often does.
There is also the worry for those students and their parents where they are left out of the groups and start to feel isolated and wonder what is wrong with them. The answer is nothing, basically some people are just horrible. As a parent and a bystander it can be horrible trying to support your young person especially when they are not in easy distance to provide the cuddle and support they need!
There are various options for students including on campus accommodation, private halls and the private rented sector. Yet many feel they must go for a house or flat when actually something else might suit their needs.
Top tips for viewing your private rental
Don't be pressurised into signing up there and then. Go away and discuss it with your fellow potential housemates and also speak to your parents.
So you love the property and want to go ahead. You will be asked to pay a holding deposit and this should be no more than the equivalent of one week's rent. Any more than this and it is actually illegal. The holding deposit is calculated on monthly rent x 12 divided by 52.
Read the tenancy agreement thoroughly and check about guarantors. Are you all liable or your guarantors if one person defaults or is it just your portion of the rent you are liable for? If you are not sure ask questions and seek legal advice. Yes you might feel pressurised but nobody want to sign up to live in the house of horrors!
Along with your tenancy agreement (for England) you should also receive the How to Rent guide and the current EPC (Energy performance certificate), current Gas Safety Certificate, current EICR (Electrical Installation Certificate).
Once you have signed your tenancy agreement and paid your funds your deposit should be registered within 30 days in an approved government deposit scheme and you should be sent a copy of the certificate and your prescribed information.
Good luck finding your new home and hopefully you will find these tips helpful.
I am a specialist property virtual assistant, looking after HMOs, single lets and multi lets.