Moving away to live independently at university can be a very exciting time in your life. Whether you are studying a few cities from home or moving to the other side of the country entirely, making your first venture away from home is definitely a time to remember.
As exciting as it is, there are a lot of things to be aware of when moving in to student halls or private rented student accommodation. From deposits to what your money buys you – the more you know the better. There are a number of different technical and legal requirements for student accommodation that you should be aware of to ensure that you remain completely protected from any issues that may arise. So what should you look out for?
This is one of the first things you will encounter when planning to move into your new accommodation and it’s also crucially important. If you don’t check every last word on your contract, you can be left with a bad deal, by signing yourself into an unfair and potentially dangerous legal contract.
Signing a bad contract can cause you a number of issues, you may end up having to pay out large sums of money that weren’t spoken about, or there may be hidden terms that can put you in a bad position should something go wrong. For this reason, it is very important to ensure that you check your contracts thoroughly before you sign, even more so if you are living in private accommodation.
As well as checking the contract thoroughly, you should speak with the property provider about your payment obligations, damage cover and any other legal requirement so that you know exactly what you’re responsible for.
Damage cover is important to check because things can get broken out of your control, and you need to know if you’re responsible for repairs. If an appliance is to break whilst you are staying at the accommodation and it wasn’t your fault, will you have to pay for it or will it be covered for you? And if damage is done to the property by a roommate will you have to pay towards repairs?
Always make sure you understand your cover against damages to any property before you move in – because with no cover things can get rather costly in the long run.
One of the most important student accommodation requirements is ensuring you pay your rent on time and in full for each instalment. But different properties will require different payment methods. Will you just need to provide your part of the rent or will you and your housemates need to pay collectively? And what happens if one of your housemates is unable to pay at any time?
When looking at payment rules, you should make sure to check what your contract says about the holiday period. During this time student loans are not paid, and many students often go home for the summer – in some properties you may be obliged to stay, and even if not you are normally required to pay rent during the summer. Check every payment requirement before you agree to a contract to avoid getting yourself into financial problems.
Conditions of student housing can change, sometimes completely out of your control. What happens if you’ve discovered mould, damp or even mice? If the boiler stops working or the cooker breaks? A lot of student horror stories often involve problems like these and believe it or not they can be easily avoided – providing you have the right cover.
Your landlord will expect a lot from you but you are in your rights to have your expectations too, and the condition of the property is definitely on top of the list. Even if it seems unlikely, ensure your agreement covers absolutely everything – from rodents’ right through to hurricanes. This’ll leave you fully protected and will make you much less likely to face any unexpected costs.
Knowing the ins and outs of student accommodation law is important but sometimes you can’t know it all, which is why the team at Student Inn are always on hand to help. Need advice and support on moving to your first student home? Contact our expert team today and let us help!
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