Renting Accomodation at University - As safe as houses?
If you are unable to stay in halls in your first year you will probably be considering renting a flat. Your living arrangements can be just as much part of the ‘uni experience’ as turning up for lectures!
However, whilst the first things rushing through your head maybe ‘bagsie the biggest room!’ or what theme to have for the flat warming party of the century, there are probably a number of questions that you should consider before signing your life away. Career Advisor asks the National Union of Student’s advice on what to look out for when considering a rental contract.
Before you sign you should ask yourself:
- Is it an individual agreement or a joint agreement?
- Are you sharing all or parts of the premises with the landlord?
- Are you sharing parts of the premises with others who are not part of your household?
- Does the contract state when the tenancy commences and when it ends?
- Does the contract state how much rent is to be paid and for what period of time?
- Have you paid a deposit? If yes, do you have a receipt?
- Has the landlord provided an up-to-date copy of the inventory?
- Have you paid, or been asked to pay, a retainer?
- Have you been given the landlord’s full name and current address?
- Do you know how to contact the landlord/agent in an emergency?
- Is there a provision for you to give notice to quit before the agreement comes to an end? If so, how much notice is needed?
- Does the agreement specify that the tenants are responsible for all utility bills, including water?
- Does the agreement state who is responsible for carrying out any repairs?
- Does the agreement mention any financial penalties that the landlord may make, i.e. for non-payment of rent?
- Does the agreement mention that a charge will be made for undertaking of the inventory once the agreement has come to an end?
Make sure that you read your contract thoroughly before you sign anything. If you need to find out more advice on renting accommodation then log onto the NUS website www.nusonline.co.uk or contact their headquarters direct on 0207 272 8900.