10 things every student should know before renting
|Posted 30 / 09 / 14|
Your biggest outgoing as a student is rent, so you should know your rights and make sure you're organised. Not having to worry about being evicted and getting your deposit back means you will be a lot less stressed over the year, but if you do find yourself in any sort of trouble, get help as soon as possible so it doesn't escalate further.
Here is a list of things that every student should know before renting, so they can get the best possible deal on their property:
2. Landlords have a legal obligation to protect their tenants' deposits under the terms of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme. They must inform their tenants' of the scheme they're using within 30 days of accepting a deposit; or they will face a fine.
3. If a landlord changes their mind before the Tenancy Deposit Scheme is signed, all they are obliged to do is return the holding deposit to the tenant (even if that is the day the tenancy is due to commence). The scheme should therefore be signed as soon as possible to avoid this.
4. Tenants will be in a much stronger position to argue about maintenance issues if they have filled out an inventory; or have taken photographs of the property on the day of moving in.
5. The rent per sharer tends to fall until the number of 4 is reached. Most student houses capable of sleeping 5 or more are classed as Houses in Multiple Occupation and is more expensive for the landlord to run.
6. If a property is rented on a shared basis, only one TV license is required. If sharers have individual tenancy agreements, then a license is needed for each room.
7. Full-time students are exempt from paying council tax, but part-time students aren't.
8. If you are going through a letting agency, they will charge a referencing fee of £20-£100 per head. Tenants should try to negotiate this fee down, as the cost for the agency is a maximum of £20 per head.
9. Most tenancy agreements run for 12 months. Students living in a largely non-student area may be able to get a break clause inserted into the agreement; which allows the tenant to give notice and leave at any time during the second half of the agreement.
10. Burglars tend to target student areas due to the more relaxed approach to security measures; and the sheer amount of electrical goods in the house. Make sure landlords fit locks on the windows and 5 lever deadlocks on external doors.