What to know when searching for a student property

by Ed Firmin

Posted on Tuesday, November 17th, 2015 at 10:00

This may be the first time you’ve rented a property, and it can seem really daunting. So what should you look out for when viewing a property? How do you know what to avoid, what should be included, and whether you’re getting a good deal?

Here are some things for you to think about before heading off on your search:

  • There are certain areas within Canterbury that have a high proportion of students, and this is probably where you want to consider living too, you won’t be far from friends, and there will be local pubs and restaurants that cater for students. They usually have good transport links to the universities too. There are some areas which have more expensive properties than others, so ensure that the area you want to live in has houses that match your budget
  • When you get there, look at the outside to see how secure it is, are there alarms? Do the windows have locks? You want to ensure all your belongings will be safe
  • Don’t worry at this point if the property’s not totally clean. It’ll more than likely be occupied by students, so it won’t look like this when you move in. Find out what furniture and decorations are or aren’t included, so you can get an idea of what its likely to look like, and what you might need to buy
  • What bills will be included? What’s the broadband connection like? What are you responsible for looking after – the garden?
  • Ask the tenants that are living there at the moment, what do they like about the property, are there any repairs that need doing? What’s the area like, the neighbours?
  • Find out how the process works, can you be there to go through the inventory when you move in? What charges do you need to budget for? Do you need your parents to be guarantors for your rent? How much deposit do you need to put down? It should be put into an approved deposit protection scheme, so find out the details of that
  • Ask to see evidence of all health and safety certificates, you want to ensure that your landlord is compliant with all the rules and that you’ll be safe in your property
  • If you get to the point where you want to sign on the dotted line, then check the agreement fully. Find out what happens if you want to move out early, does your contract allow it? What happens if one of your flatmates want to move out? Who’s responsible for finding a replacement?

These are just some things to take into consideration when looking for a property. The more prepared you can be, the less likely it is that you’re caught unawares. Please do get in touch for some advice on the moving in process, I’m more than happy to offer advice.

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