Whether you’re heading off to Newcastle or Northumbria University, living in the city has a lot to offer. From the fabled nightlife to a cup of tea and a spot of Geordie hospitality, students have plenty to fall in love with when it comes to living up north.
However, there are some factors prospective tenants need to be aware of whether they’re students moving into Newcastle or Geordies heading to other cities for their own studies. Letting agent Lets Live Here has provided a list of mistakes students make when renting.
1. NOT PICKING THE RIGHT AREA
Taking Newcastle as an example, some students will love Jesmond – a thriving student area with a strip of bars and restaurants, while others will prefer the quieter Sandyford. You’ll need to decide what you want from your student life before you move in. If you’re desperate for good nightlife, pick a bustling area near the city centre. If you want to save a bit of money (flats outside the city centre tend to be cheaper), then rent something a bit further afield and commute in.
2. NOT BUDGETING FOR EVERYTHING
Think rent is your only worry? Once you’re out of student halls and into private accommodation you’ll need to be budgeting for utility bills, living costs and extras such as Wi-Fi and Netflix.
As a full-time student, you don’t need to worry about council tax – but other costs will apply. Make sure any prospective fellow tenants are also comfortable with similar monthly budgets and you can all afford payments.
3. NOT INSPECTING THE FLAT THOROUGHLY
When you’re conducting a viewing of what might be your new home away from home, there are a few things you need to look out for to ensure it’s a good property to live in throughout the year.
- Mould/Damp – Look out for signs of mould or damp in the corners and dark places of a flat. Open cupboards and wardrobes and inspect windowsills and corners.
- Cracks/Crevices – Keep an eye out for any damage to the walls or property and note them down.
- Furniture – Check the furniture for any damage or wear, ensuring all furniture is in working order and can be used. If it isn’t, let the landlord know.
- Utilities – Test the water and electricity supply and ensure they work.
4. NOT ENSURING ALL YOUR HOUSEMATES HAVE DEPENDABLE GUARANTORS
If you share a flat, which is highly likely, all of you will be responsible for rent. There’s nothing more frightening than one student dropping out and moving home and being unable to pay their part of the rent. Make sure you all have guarantors and everyone has each other’s contact details to avoid any future confusion.
5. NOT UNDERSTANDING YOUR RIGHTS
A tenancy agreement can be a foreboding legal contract. Knowing your rights when it comes to renting helps in the event of any problems with your landlord or agency. You’ll need to know exactly what you’re responsible for and what your landlord/agency should be doing. For instance, a landlord doesn’t have to replace lightbulbs and other small fittings but should get involved if your electricity goes off. Read more about student rights at the Citizens Advice Bureau.
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