Presentation on theme: "Student Advice Centre. Finding your first house can be fun. Watching out for a few key issues can really help you to make a good choice and prevent."— Presentation transcript:
Finding your first house can be fun. Watching out for a few key issues can really help you to make a good choice and prevent problems later.
Try to use Accredited landlords if you can. They have joined up to a Voluntary Code of Conduct with Kent Union’s Homestamp Scheme to ensure good practice. Currently with a Health and Safety focus. You can find accredited properties at http://www.homestampkent.co.uk/Accommo dation If you have signed up with a landlord already, to check if they are accredited contact Homestamp at http://www.homestampkent.co.uk/Contact http://www.homestampkent.co.uk/Accommo dation http://www.homestampkent.co.uk/Contact
Location, Location, Location What do you need from your area? How near to Uni do you want to be? What’s the public transport like? Is it well lit/ safe at night? Are there other student houses in the area? What are the neighbours like? We suggest you use the Housing Checklist in Looking, living, leaving… to compare houses as you view them.
How much does it cost? Average rents are £350-£450 per calendar month. Does it include bills? (these type of contracts can be good deal- but watch out for expenditure caps) What about the Summer? Half rent/ full rent? Is it worth it?
Will you all be on one contract? (Joint and several liability) Do you know this means you are all liable for each other. If one person doesn’t pay/ moves out/ trashes the place the rest of you will all be jointly liable! (You could sue your defaulting housemate but this takes time and effort..)
You need to make some arrangements to view some properties that look like they may fit your needs. There is a lot of pressure on students at this stage as there is very much the idea that the best properties go first. This is not always the case but to have the widest range of property to choose from it is a good idea to look now.
You will probably be shown round the property by the person you will have to deal with all year. It doesn’t matter what they are like if there are no problems. If there are problems you need to be able to deal with them. Trust your judgement- if you don’t like them don’t rent with them.
How big are the bedrooms? Who wants the small one? (will they pay less rent?) Is there enough furniture/ bathrooms/ electric sockets? Is there a phone? Who pays? If not what will you do about the internet? Who does the garden? If it’s you who’s going to do it?
If you like it, think it’s reasonable value and in the right location you’re likely to want to take it ASAP. You may be asked for a (non returnable) holding deposit while you make a decision. Only pay this if you are serious as you will not get this back. Also consider if you will have to pay an Admin Fee. This is also not returnable. If you pay a deposit this is returnable unless there are outstanding problems at the property. You will be required to sign a contract. We would strongly recommend that you get that contract checked BEFORE signing it. Once signed you are bound by it’s terms whether you understand them or not!
The Student Advice Centre, in the Mandela Building can give you advice about your contract questions. Come to our drop in 1pm-3pm every weekday or see us by appointment. (call 01227 824200) PLEASE READ YOUR CONTRACT FIRST AND COME WITH YOUR QUESTIONS AS WE CANNOT GO THROUGH THE WHOLE CONTRACT WITH YOU.
Thanks for coming. Any questions? Please complete our questionnaire