Out With the Halls – In With the House Share
Moving from campus to town is a natural progression that many students make after their fresher year, but for first-time house sharers, there are a few things you should consider to help make the move from halls to shared housing as smooth as possible.
When it comes to your second year, moving out of halls is a vital part of student life. Renting a shared property can be a great way of getting the most out of your time at university or college and for many, it will be the first taste of real independence, but with independence comes responsibility…
If you follow a few simple rules your move from campus to town will be an enjoyable and rewarding experience.
Rule No. 1: Start Looking at Student Houses Early
As we’ve mentioned on the blog before, viewing student accommodation early for the next academic year is a MUST.
It may seem like you’ve only just got to uni, but believe it or not many of Loughborough’s top student houses (including ours) have already had contracts signed for the next academic year!
Getting yourself organised, doing your research and viewing houses BEFORE the end of the Autumn Term (and preferably before this year’s Housing Bazaar) is a tip we can’t stress highly enough.
If you want to be living in the best quality student housing in Loughborough, lastminute.com is NOT the way to do it!
Rule No. 2: Choose the Right Landlord
Alongside making the right choice with your accommodation, ensuring you sign on with a professional and trustworthy landlord is essential.
As with any market, the student property market has its fair share of rogue operators and unfortunately, some student landlords fall into this category.
However, there a few simples checks you can do and things you can ask any Loughborough student landlord (including me!) to work out whether they are worth your rent money
1 – Check They’re Accredited by the DASH Scheme
The Decent And Safe Homes Scheme (DASH) is a voluntary scheme that has been recognised by Charnwood Borough Council and Loughborough University.
DASH accredits the landlord rather than the property and staff carry out random inspections to ensure that properties registered with the scheme meet the minimum legal requirements.
To find out more about the scheme and how choosing a landlord registered with DASH can help take the risk out of renting student accommodation, check out our blog post on choosing a landlord.
2 – Ask to See Safety Paperwork
It is your landlord’s responsibility to ensure that the property you rent from them is safe to be lived in. When you view student accommodation check that the electrical appliances and sockets/light fittings are in good condition and ask to see a copy of the annual gas safety certificate for the property.
It is also a legal requirement for landlords to provide fire/smoke alarms on every floor and carbon monoxide alarms in any rooms with usable fireplaces or wood-burners, so make sure you check for these too.
3 – Ask to Be Put in Touch with Previous Tenants
The best way to get a genuine and honest view of a potential property is to speak to the current or previous tenants.
Not only will they be able to give you a realistic account of the state of the property for day to day living, but they’ll also be able to fill you in on any issues they’ve had and how the landlord has handled them.If they’re happy then it’s a pretty good indication that the house, and the landlord, are a pretty good bet.
If they’re happy then it’s a pretty good indication that the house, and the landlord, are a pretty good bet.
If a property is empty when you view it and the landlord seems particularly resistant to putting you in contact with previous tenants, then there could be an issue.
Rule No. 3: Read Your Tenancy Agreement BEFORE You Sign It!
This may seem like a really obvious piece of advice but for first-time student renters (outside of halls) tenancy agreements can sometimes be a little overwhelming. They can often be full of complicated wording and many run into double-page figures in length!
Remember, the tenancy agreement is there to protect you as well as the landlord, so it’s in your best interest to take the time to read it and ensure it’s correct.
Make sure you read the whole agreement before you sign it and don’t be afraid to ask questions. If there’s anything you don’t understand or don’t think is right, get it clarified before you commit pen to paper.
The university offers a free tenancy agreement checking service that we always recommend you take advantage of!
Our student houses are extremely popular and some have already been booked for next year.
To avoid disappointment, take a look at our Loughborough student accommodation now and enquire today! Alternatively, pop into the office anytime for a coffee and a chat to discuss your needs. We’re happy to talk things through with you.
Andrew Chell can be contacted as follows:
Phone: 01509 552814
Email: [email protected]
Office: 66 Ashby Road, Loughborough LE11 3AE
Published 24th November 2015