UK is certainly a very prestigious location to get higher education. Once you’ve secured your seat in a University or college, the next important thing is look for a rental property for student in the UK. UK’s real estate market is big, you’ll certainly find a lot of options but being a student, you have very specific requirements even if you realize them or not.
If you choosing a property that goes totally against your routine or lifestyle, then believe be, even if it is in the posh area, you will hardly survive there for a month.
It’s very exciting to choose your first accommodation as a student in the UK. But don’t be in a hurry. Check out every corner of the room. Ask and discuss with the owner about each and every facility you want. Make a wise decision.
To ensure yourself that you will not fall into costly traps when renting, go through our guiding checklist. It will give you an idea about what to inspect during house viewings. The crucial things a college student must decide and look before, during and after viewing a rental flat are:
1. Decide rental budget
- Firstly calculate your earnings, expenditures(other than rent) and savings. Then decide how much money you want to spend on rent.
- Also think whether you want a single person room or for two. Perhaps it’s beneficial to rent in sharing. Because then you have to pay half of the money.
- It’s useless to look for a flat which is not in your price range. So search for something which suits you.
- Rent in city center ranges from £500 to £700 for one bedroom apartment while rent outside city center can set you apart for £350 to £500.
Location of your flat will play an important role in saving your timing.
- Search for flats which are near to the college or university.
- See the kind of transportation(bus service, taxis etc.) near the flat.
- Check whether local amenities such as market, hospitals, newsagents, parks, etc are available or not near the flat.
3. Parking space
If you have a bike or car then you must require parking space. So ask the owner for a parking facility because not all property have a dedicated parking space. And, there are different type of parking too, among which garage parking is the safest otherwise, bike theft around students accommodation is pretty common.
Moreover, you need to check if parking is paid, free or complementary with some accommodation and not with others.
Inspect both from inside and outside to see whether the house is well-insulated or not. If it is, then you can save up to 100 pounds sterling in energy bills throughout the year.
- Roof should be covered by tiles to prevent any leakage.
- Flat must have a good heating system like a radiator or electric heater. Walls should not feel cold.
- Double-glazed windows to retain heat, secure doors free from any large gaps to prevent howling of wind through it.
5. Damps & Moulds
Damps and moulds are very common in rental flats. These can cause breathing problems like asthma as it smells bad. It also damages your furnishings and clothes.
- Check if it smells musky.
- Look for any black mould patches, discolored patches of paints and flaking wallpapers.
- Cast a glance over the ceiling, behind furniture, near windows & doors, inside cupboards etc.
It’s not strange to find pests like cockroaches, rats, mice in the rental rooms. This proves to be very irritating and problematic for tenants. So check –
- Are there overflowing bins near the flat?
- Is there any hole near the floor and wall?
- Are the kitchen and bathroom unclean?
Security is the first priority of every student as you may come to the flat late at night due to more lectures at university, tuition or part time jobs(like call centre jobs). So
- Meet and ask people about the crime rate living in that area.
- Check whether doors have secured locks or not like mortice lock, yale-type lock.
- Ask the owner about the burglar alarm in the building.
8. Fire Safety
Students at college level are usually very busy in their studies, jobs and other activities. It may be possible that you sometimes left a room heater running in a hurry or forgot to switch off the gas. These are high chances of such accidents in sharing rental flats. Thus it’s important to know whether the flat –
- Does it have a carbon monoxide alarm or not?
- Is there a fire extinguisher in the kitchen or not?
- Does the flat have fire alarms or not?
9. Electric appliances
If the landlord will provide you certain appliances like refrigerator, t.v., room heater, washing machine etc. then
- check whether they are in good condition and working properly or not.
- Ask if these and their maintenance charges are included in the tenancy agreement.
- Look for the number of sockets, their load in terms of voltage(for big electric appliances) and cabling condition(insulated, no cut in between, not loose, not freely hanging).
10. Phone signals & Internet Speed
For how many hours or minutes you leave your mobile in the whole day? Can you study without searching on the internet? So don’t forget to investigate the strength of signals and internet speed in the flat area. For this you can
- Try calling your friend.
- Check for 3G or 4G.
- Try video chatting your friends on Zoom or Skype
11. Water supply
- Check if the water supply is not just for a few hours.
- Also if there is 24 hours water availability, look for the high pressure in taps.
- Make sure the taps are not rusted and dripped.
- Cast a glance on the water pipes for any leakage.
12. Consult from existing tenants
No one can better speak of reality than the existing tenants. If the flat owner left you alone for sometime talk to the current tenants there. Ask what are the good and bad things about this flat? They will let you know all that the owner has not told you.
Not only that, they can tell you some perks that even the homeowners can’t tell because they don’t live there. Also, interacting with them is only a good thing even if you don’t end up securing the place because they can give you other leads nearby or help you if you settle near them.
13. Check certain Certificates from Owner
Under The Housing Act 2004 there are certain rules and standards which a landlord has to follow for lending its property for rent. The land owners get some certificates which consist of ratings for various things in the building. You must ask to see those certificates like Gas certificate, Energy Performance certificate etc.. These give you a clear idea of any potential problem with the property(if any).
14. Deposit Scheme
If you have any query regarding the deposit scheme then make it clear before finalizing the house. Some of the things you can ask to the owner or the agent are :
- How much money will you have to deposit as security?
- Whether you will have to pay all money in one go or per tenant?
- Under which deposit scheme it will be registered with?
15. Finding Homes
Now, if you haven’t found a good place to get leads, you can use these ways to get good leads and shortlist the best property according to your requirements for visits –