Let’s jump right into the top five things you should know before packing your suitcase:
1. Money Money Money
The most vital element to moving into a new place – money. For example, have you double-checked the exact rent costs and are you positive that you can cover your monthly outgoings?
If you’re renting privately through a landlord, they will more than likely ask you to have a guarantor too, so if you can’t cover your rent payments yourself, then they will. It is best to have a guarantor lined up before you agree to take the property.
When you agree to move into a property, a deposit will be required from you. This usually amounts to a month’s rent – but it is best to double-check this, as different properties may require more or less. Your deposit is to cover any damages or missed rent payments when it comes to the end of your tenancy. It is important to always know and understand where your deposit is being held.
The most vital thing about your deposit is to make sure that it is protected at all times.
2. Signing on the Dotted Line
Make sure you read through your whole contract. We know it can be quite the essay, but it will be worth it if any issues arise during your tenancy.
The main thing to look out for is the length of your tenancy. You don’t want to tie yourself into a contract that is too long or too short for what you need.
Some student accommodation is done on a weekly basis. This can sometimes mean that on certain weeks of the year (for example, term breaks), you may not be entitled to live in your accommodation.
It’s not just about your tenancy length, either. Your contract will also provide you with any rules or regulations about the property. Want to hang up that new poster? Make sure your contract says you can do so! It will also give you details on repairs and damages issues and who is liable, so make sure you pay good attention to that part!
3. Additional Costs
Don’t be fooled into thinking there won’t be any more outgoings from your student loans once your rent is paid. Some accommodation providers give you the opportunity to opt in for bills included within your rent payments.
When you’re viewing your potential student accommodation, always make sure you ask what’s included within your rent. Is the Wi-Fi part of the deal? What about the TV licence? You don’t have to worry about council tax because you’re a student, so that’s a plus!
Away from the boring parts of bills, it’s also worth having a think about whether you will have enough money after your payments for food shopping, transport costs, and of course socialising money.
4. What Comes With It?
The majority of student properties come furnished. Again, make sure you ask the question of exactly what comes with the property or room you are renting. You don’t want to be having to take a trip to IKEA and carrying wardrobes up three flights of stairs.
When it comes to what to bring with you, think essentials such as crockery, cookware, bedding, and any little trinkets you want to make your room feel homely and yours. If you’re thinking about bringing your cute fluffy pet, be warned that the majority of student accommodation providers don’t allow pets in their properties. If you’re renting privately with a landlord, they may be more lenient, but make sure you ask first before moving in your furry friend.
5. Location Location Location
Not all student accommodation is close to your university campus, so it’s important to assess the location of your potential student property.
It’s not just the distance from your university you should think about; it’s essential to consider the distance to local supermarkets, transport links, and areas of interests. Remember: if you’re close to local amenities and locations, you won’t have to spend that much money on travel or bus passes.
It may seem like there’s a lot to know before moving into your student accommodation, but the main thing is to make sure you’re comfortable and safe where you’re living. If you have the chance – why not speak to past tenants or students that lived in the accommodation before you?
Whether you decide on university halls, private halls, or student housing, make sure you enjoy every part of it. You’re only a student once!
Check out the accommodation on offer at Lawson Halls