Moving into your first student home is an exciting rite of passage, but for most, it’s a whole new world, with lots of legal mumbo jumbo and financial responsibility to take on board.
It’s important that you get the right place, somewhere that suits both work and play, so here are three top tips before you sign on the dotted line.
Make Sure You Have Enough Space
When you’re trying to keep costs down, cramming you and seven mates into a tiny terraced house can sound like a great idea, but it’s crucial that you have enough room to breathe.
According to Mighty Student Living: “Before you go to uni, you might underestimate how much work goes into your degree and once you arrive, you’ll find that your own quiet place to study can come in very useful.
“If nothing else, it’s nice to not always be on top of one another at all times of day. This isn’t just something that’s good for your own well-being, but it’s also a legal requirement.”
Under the Housing Act 2004, all rooms in a house in multiple occupation (HMO) must be at least 6.51 sq. metres, so don’t be afraid to check this.
Be sure to look at the surrounding area as well, to make sure that your new home is within good access of local amenities and transport links.
Work Out a Budget
Of course, money is a huge consideration when student house hunting and it’s not just the rent that you’ll have to take into account.
Things such as gas, electricity and water bills, internet and a TV licence will all start to add up once you’ve moved in, as well as your living costs for things such as food and nights out.
According to Save the Student’s Student Money Survey, 84% of students worry about making ends meet and as many as 50% said that they’ve suffered mental health issues as a result of money troubles.
Think about things such as deposits and admin fees too before deciding if you can afford somewhere.
Once you’ve got all of these costs together, you can start to work out exactly what your budget is.
Ask for a Break Clause
This is most likely your first time living on your own, and you’ve probably never had to negotiate for a tenancy before.
Unfortunately, this means that lots of students get taken advantage of by their landlords.
One thing which students often overlook (completely understandably is having a break clause in their tenancy agreement).
A break clause essentially means that either you or the landlord can cancel the agreement early and you’re not tied into anything for any longer than a minimum of six months.
Of course, hopefully, nothing will go wrong, but it’s good to have this clause just in case anything does.
Be sure to ask lots of questions throughout the process and don’t be afraid to challenge a potential landlord if you think that something doesn’t quite seem right.