Last week UK Guarantor asked students who had lived and studied in the UK for several years for their top tips on finding private student accommodation in the UK. This is what they told us;
1 Location is the most important thing
If you are looking to live in a house or flat share, location is very important. Most University owned halls and Private Halls of Residence are generally close to the University. Houses and flats are likely to be spread out across the city. Most of the students we talked to thought this was a good thing, provided that you picked the right area, because this will open up new opportunities and experiences. The key message here is to take time to get to know your city and where the best student areas are. By investing your time in finding out this information you can find the popular student locations, which will be safe, friendly places to live, with good transport links.
2 Timing is important
All of the students we have spoken to thought that it was better to sort out your accommodation for 2017 as soon as possible. This is because you will have the larger pool of accommodation to choose from, which should mean you get the widest possible choice. In short, the longer you leave it the less choice you will have. However, it is also important not to panic and rush into signing a tenancy agreement too early. It is vital to do your research and make sure the property and the people you are sharing with are right for you, before you commit. Once you have signed the tenancy agreement you are committed to it for the full period, so make sure that it is the right place for you.
3 Speak to the students who are living there already
A good way of getting beyond the initial impression and appearance of the property is to speak to the current students about their experience of living there. In this way you can get a good insight into how well the property is managed by the landlord or agent. Feedback from students suggests that this is almost as important as the physical aspects of the house, because you will want to make sure that any maintenance issues are dealt with promptly and the landlord/agent deals with their student tenants in a fair and friendly way.
4 Read through the agreement
Make sure you read through anything that you need to sign. Tenancy agreements are binding contracts which will commit you to paying rent for the duration of the agreement. Make sure that you are familiar with all of your commitments under the agreement and be sure to get some advice from a reliable source if you are not sure about any aspect of it, it is better to be cautious. Most of the time, as an international student in the UK you will be asked to provide a Guarantor contact who will be responsible for the commitments you make in the tenancy agreement. Remember you can use UK Guarantor if you need one.
5 Take Photos
Our more savvy students told us it was a good idea to take photos of the interior of your property when you move in. In this way you will have a record of the state of the property so that both you and the landlord/agent can agree what it was like when it comes to move out time. It is also sensible to take photos when you move out so that you have clear evidence that you have left the the property in the same state as you found it. This is probably one of the best things you can do to ensure there are no end of tenancy disputes and you get your deposit back.
UK Guarantor is a company which helps international students find affordable accommodation, by matching them with the best quality student accommodation and enabling them to pay their rent in manageable instalments by acting as their guarantor.