Birmingham is the UK’s second largest university city, and with five major universities in the city there is a huge demand for student accommodation. Private lets are often more cost effective for students than living in university halls, and can offer them additional benefits, but there are certain things all students should be aware of when renting student properties.
Deposits and Summer Rent Retainers
All rental properties, including student lets, require a deposit to be paid upon signing your tenancy agreement. This is to secure the property for you, but is also used to cover any damages to the property. Letting agents will typically inspect the property both before you move in and after you move out in order to monitor damages.
You may also have to pay what is known as a ‘summer retainer’ on a student property. This is essentially a payment of rent, sometimes at a reduced rate, over the summer break. Although some may think this is an unnecessary additional cost, it means you can move into the property before the summer holidays, and visit or even live in the property before university resumes in September.
It is common for student properties to be inclusive of some or all household bills; most including utilities and some including wireless internet access and television licenses. If this is the case with the property you are interested in, make sure you are aware of any limitations or fixed allowances on your utilities, as some landlords or agents may charge you if you go over this limit.
It is important to know whether or not you are eligible to pay council tax. If you are a full-time student, you are exempt from paying council tax. However, if you are a part-time student then you must still pay it. Discuss this with your letting agent if you are unsure.
It is much easier for students to let their property through a letting agency rather than directly from a landlord, as a letting agent can facilitate any repairs or other maintenance issues for you as quickly as possible, while a landlord may not be contacted as easily. Your letting agent will also be able to answer any of your questions at the time of signing your tenancy agreement.
We at Belvoir Birmingham are committed to providing excellent customer service to all our clients, whether they are students, tenants, landlords or home buyers. If you looking for houses or flats to rent in Birmingham, please contact our helpful and professional staff on 0121 212 0122.