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10 top tips for Leeds Student Renting

September 7, 2012 | Students  

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Life in Leeds student property is an awesome experience! You get to live and party with your best mates, with all the great bars, restaurants, and everything else that Leeds has to offer at your feet. All well and good once it’s done, but many struggle with the process of finding and securing Leeds student accommodation. With the help of this guide, you may be able to eliminate all potential problems and get on with enjoying yourself!

1. Do your homework! Before you go charging ahead searching for student property to rent in Leeds, you ought to see what information you can glean from other students with experience of privately renting, or find out what services your university offers. You can also browse our area guides or give us a call to help you make the best informed decision. Get swotting!

2. Know where your deposit is going. It’s tempting to just throw down the cash and say, “I’ll take it!” when you find your perfect property, but you need to keep a clear head and make sure that your money goes where it should. Your deposit should be paid into an accredited deposit scheme, protected under one of the three Government funded Tenancy Deposit Protection Schemes. This is a legal requirement. This ensures that your landlord can’t just do a runner with your money. Any proposed deductions that you do not agree with you can challenge in a free Dispute Resolution, which recent research shows, favours tenants more often than not.

3. Factor in security! Areas with a high density of student properties are a magnet for burglars. They target students because students generally have loads of nice stuff, like iPads, laptops, TV’s, games consoles, phones etc. just lying about the place, and are often too relaxed in matters of security, sometimes just leaving the doors of their properties wide open! How could an opportunist thief resist such an offer? When choosing a property, make sure all door and window locks are in good order. If there’s a burglar alarm, make sure you know how to use it and that it works. It doesn’t have to be Fort Knox, but if it’s not secure and something is stolen, your insurance policy may be void. It’s no good paying for a policy that won’t protect you!

4. Read the small print! Whip out a magnifying glass and scrutinise your tenancy agreement before signing it. You need to know what kind of tenancy agreement it is. Many shared tenancies have joint liability clauses, meaning that you are responsible for the actions of your co-tenants for the terms of the tenancy, not just for rent payment. This may affect who you choose to live with, as some people who you got on well with in halls may be liabilities in a household.

5. Choose a reputable letting agent. It’s not worth gambling with a potentially dodgy landlord just to avoid a letting agents administrative fees. With an ARLA accredited lettings agent like hop-property.co.uk you can rest assured that we will look out for your best interests. All ARLA agents must adhere to a strict code of conduct, as well as offering client money protection and redress schemes to protect you if things go wrong.

6. Get acquainted with you insurance policy. Quite often students will have their stuff covered by their parents’ contents insurance policy, but it’s still important to check the wording. As with the tenancy agreement, don’t just assume all is for the best. There are a number of insurance companies out there that offer student-specific contents insurance policies, so assess your options.

7. Bills, bills, bills. We all hate them, but we all have to pay them. When you move into your Leeds student property, the last warm rays of summer may distract your thoughts from the cold bite of winter. Check the Energy Performance Certificate in the property. The lower the rating, the greater the power output required to heat your Leeds student accommodation in winter, and the heftier the bill. If you are one of those rare, plan-ahead types who actually budgets for the year, remember, it’s not all about rent. Utilities, internet, and TV licence all must be factored in.

8. If renting student accommodation in Leeds with other tenants, you must ensure that the landlord has the relevant Homes in Multiple Occupancy (HMO) licence, as it’s a legal requirement.

9. Ensure you are provided with a full inventory that lists all the fixtures and fittings in the property, their condition, and that of the property itself. Take photographs at the start of the tenancy to document as evidence to protect yourself in case of dispute at the end of the tenancy.

10. If you get the chance, have a word with the current occupants of the Leeds student property you are interested in while you are viewing. They can provide you with valuable insight, giving you the lowdown on the the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Hope you find these tips to be helpful. If you have any questions, get in touch; we’ll be glad to help! Happy hunting!

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