Freshers has flown by and we are now facing the reality of a cold, dark and wet Welsh winter. This means that letting agents are releasing their housing lists, [if you want to have a look at ours then click here]. If this is the first time that you have been looking for a house or you have gone through the process before we can hopefully share some of our wisdom with you, which we have gained from over 17 years in the industry.
A lot of agents will tell you that you need to sign before Christmas to make sure that you get a house. This isn't true! There are plenty of student houses around and you will have more coming on to our books weekly. However students do start looking early; this is why we advertise our houses in November. To make sure that you aren't disappointed we would recommend having a look and seeing what is out there, but in taking your time and finding your fannytastic property.
This may sound obvious but it seems that sometimes people don't quite get the fact that they will have to actually share their living space with their new house mates and that they are going to still be living together in a years time. Also don't forget that everyone who signs the tenancy agreement is liable for the property. When you are wading through mounds of your house mates pizza boxes in the living room or dealing with another of their one night stands the morning after, you want to be sure that you don't end up hating them for it!
When you house hunting you will probably look at quite a few different properties and have viewings with lots of different letting agents. Make sure that you are using an agent who is accredited either with ALMA [Association of Letting and Management Agents], Safe Agent or NALS [National Approved Letting Scheme]. By being a part of theirs schemes it shows that the agent has pledged their commitment to protecting customers. Also check where your deposit is going to be secured, either DPS [Deposit Protection Service] or TDS [Tenancy Deposit Scheme]. These schemes make sure that your deposit is kept somewhere separate and secure so that your landlord can't just keep your deposit without good reason. Go and talk to your SU, they will be able to recommend letting agents and landlords to you who are known to them as being reliable and trustworthy.
You will probably end up looking at quite a few properties and student properties in the same area all tend to be pretty similar. Everyone now days has a smart phone which enables them to take selfies and pictures of rooms. Once you sit down with your future house mates in the pub to discuss which property you will take and which bedroom you want, having pictures will be a big help.
You are going to be entering into a legal agreement to take care of a property which your landlord has spent a lot of money on. You need be fully aware of what is your responsibility and what is the landlords. If there is any thing you want different about your property before you move in then make sure that it is added into your contract before you sign it. If the agent or landlord promises anything then it doesn't mean a thing until it is added into the contract.
Once you find your perfect student place and move in, something will probably go wrong at some point. This could be anything and could be some ones fault or just bad luck. You need to be aware of when it is your responsibility and when it is the landlords responsibility. You don't want to have to pay the call out fee for an electrician to come and change a light bulb if you could have just done it yourself!
If possible then have a quick chat with the people currently renting the property. They will be able to give you an idea of what the house is like and if there are any problems, they have been living in it so they know the current state of the property better than anybody. Also you can ask them how much bills are in the property, so you can budget for them.
If you are house hunting and want to find a fannytastic property then come to Pinnacle Letting Agents on Fanny Street. We love students and want to make sure that students have the same great experience that we had at uni!
To find your fannytastic next home then click here!