10 months ago
Studying away from home is always stressful. However, this is an inseparable part of student life. Young people with little rental experience may be easily fooled by dishonest property agents. This is why Typical Student team put together a list of warning signs to prevent accommodation problems. Hopefully, you’ll find this useful!
House in Multiple Occupation: Legal Nuances
One of the most popular types of accommodation is a shared student house. Known as a house in multiple occupation (HMO), this type of property falls under the Housing Act 2004 stipulating the minimum room size of 6.51 sq.m. The amenity standards (the number of bathrooms, toilets, and sinks, etc.) are stipulated by the local authorities.
Students must remember that most shared student homes require a license. Checking the papers is crucial before signing the tenancy agreement. The following documents must be provided to tenants: gas safety certificate, energy performance certificate (EPC), and deposit protection certificate.
Space is one more aspect that must not be neglected! Some landlords may use shared space for extra bedrooms to earn more money. Still, living conditions must be study-friendly and stress-free. Earning a degree can be demanding both intellectually and emotionally, so the accommodation must help the process, not hinder.
Purpose-built Accommodation: Another Viable Option
To avoid problems with low accommodation quality and binding clauses in a tenancy agreement, students could consider a purpose-built student accommodation. According to the Guardian, this market sector has already grown by 17% in the current academic year. To keep up the growth trend, private landlords need to step up the game.
Contrary to the traditional housing adapted for student living, the purpose-built accommodation is likely to provide on-site facilities. One of the benefits is building a direct connection with the landlord which could be helpful in resolving issues.
What Other Aspects Should Students Consider?
Today, students have more requirements to what their accommodation should be like. The usual demands include high-speed internet connection, a communal living area, and outside space. In reality, students complain having rats, slugs, and other pests in their homes. Some have reported their rented accommodation to be damp and moldy.
Asking questions might help you figure out the quality of housing before it’s too late. Talking to the current tenants would be perfect to learn the pitfalls of the particular house. Don’t be afraid to ask why they are leaving.
Prior to the house-hunt, work out the budget to see the type of accommodation you can afford. The accommodation expenses include electricity, water, gas, phone, internet, and a TV license. Also, there are food expenses and general household items spending. The recent statistics show, 42% of students can’t afford to pay energy bills.
Define the location convenient for you, taking the transport cost into consideration. Choosing in favor of a more remote housing location may not be feasible. Despite living further away from your uni might be cheaper, being close to the library and other students might be more important.
To prevent being exploited by landlords and property agents, get a fair break clause. This condition is one of the ways to guarantee you can leave the property whenever you need to. The legal tenancy minimum is six months. Agents often push for longer-term tenancies, but experts agree, the six-month break clause should be preserved.
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