14 ways to make sure next year's student house isn't a total nightmare
22nd April 2016
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Finding a place to live can be stressful, but to be honest there’s literally no more important thing in the world. Yes, literally – not one. So you’d better get it right*. Here’s some advice on hunting for houses and surviving once you’re in them. 1. Go via a reputable agent There are lots of reliable property websites out there to start your search (and no, we’re not talking about Gumtree.) They’ll usually only advertise properties that come from a legit and trusted agent, so you can be sure they’re not going to scam you – which is a very nice thing to know. 2. Make sure you’re covered – properly There are three government-approved letting agent redress schemes, and it’s important to make sure the agent you’re renting through is a member of one of them. They exist so that you have someone to go to if you have a dispute over anything (hello, getting your deposit back.) The three schemes are: Property Redress Scheme The Property Ombudsman Ombudsman Services 3. Check the transport links Some things that are helpful when moving into a new house: night buses. Local train stations. Bus stops right outside the front gate. Not having to walk for half an hour under an underpass to wait in the rain *hoping* some form of transport will appear at some point. Urgh. 4. Be prepared to be flexible Can you afford an extra £20 per month to be in a safe area that isn’t an hour’s uphill trek into uni? You spent that much on cider and chips last night, so we think you probably can. 5. But still investigate alternative areas Living a 15-minute walk from the centre of town and could shave £100 off your rent per month (especially if you live in London.) That’s a lot to be able to save, and you might be able to sleep better at night without the hoards from the 24-hour McDonalds caterwauling outside your window. 6. Read the contract
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