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Top tips for student renters

As first year students start to look towards their second year, theyll begin planning for life outside of university halls, and securing rental properties.

As first year students start to look towards their second year, theyll begin planning for life outside of university halls, and securing rental properties.

The majority of students wont have dealt with a letting agent before, and it will be their largest expense each term, so its important they make the right decision about where to live. Universities often offer services to help students with their property search, but there are several things to consider beyond this.

Sally Lawson, President, ARLA Propertymark, said: Renting a property with your friends at university is great fun and a rite of passage for many. For most, this will be the first time they rent a property or make a financial commitment of this nature, so it can feel daunting when youre starting to look. First and foremost, make sure youre starting your property search with a reputable letting agent. ARLA Propertymark agents adhere to the highest professional standards and have client money protection in place so that if any funds go missing, youre protected.?

Students looking to privately rent a property at university should following the below tips from ARLA Propertymark

Work out what you can afford

Look at your outgoings every term, and work out how much of your student loan you can allocate towards rent. This will help you determine the type of property you can afford, and the area you can rent in. Dont forget to factor in bills including the internet, your TV package and licence, energy and water. You wont be required to pay council tax but if youre living with any non-students they will be responsible for their share. If youre renting a large house with friends, the bedrooms may vary in cost depending on size, so make sure youre clear on your budget before you start shot-gunning the biggest bedroom.

Finding a property

As a starting point, approach a reputable agent to help you with your search.Use the ARLA Propertymark find an expert tool for peace of mind that youre in good hands. When you find a property that you like, try to speak to the existing tenants about their experience of living in the property.

Dont bow to pressure

Take your time making decisions about where youre going to live. Dont let your friends pressure you into signing a contract for the first property you see, and you shouldnt feel pressured into handing money over straight away either.

Know where your deposit is going

Before you move in, youll be required to pay a security deposit, which is usually around six weeks rent. This must be held in one of the three government-authorised tenancy deposit protection schemes, and your letting agent must show you evidence of this. If you dont receive the details, ask for them as soon as possible. You will also be given a copy of the government "How to Rent" guide and will be asked to provide ID to show you have the right to live in the UK.

Moving in and the inventory

When you move in, your letting agent or landlord will organise an inventory. This will state exactly what condition the property is in, and list all the furniture and fixtures, so theres a record of what belongs to the landlord and, more importantly, what condition everything is in. This will help you to avoid any disputes at the end of your tenancy, so its important its carried out to a professional standard.

During your tenancy

The number one rule when renting any property is that when you leave it, it must be in a good condition and one that youd like to find it in. Keep it clean throughout the year, and maintain the garden so it doesnt become overgrown. Dont be scared to report any repair issues and if anything breaks in the property tell your agent as soon as possible.

Use the support available to you

You should ask your letting agent for the ARLA Propertymark Student Guide, which has tips and guides to help you through the whole process from the start of tenancy to the end.

To speak to one of our lettings team at Belvoir Liverpool Central please call 0151 231 1613 or email liverpoolcentral@belvoir.co.uk

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