Top ten things to do before you sign your housing contract

Wednesday 30-11-2016 - 13:41
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Although it’s a myth that the best houses go before Christmas, it’s that time of year again when house hunting is at the top of most students' minds.

Before you jump into anything, there are lots of things worth thinking about; everything from a decent landlord to cost and location can affect your renting experience.

We’ve put together this handy guide to take the hassle out of your property search.


1. Research the area you want to live in

Local amenities, crime rate, public transport links and proximity to your campus are some key things to consider.


2. Think about safety and security

Go to property viewings as a group and be aware of your personal safety. Check that the property is secure and think about how safe the area feels.


3. Work out your budget

Be aware of all the costs involved and decide how much you can afford to pay. Remember that in addition to rent, as well as a deposit and any extra fees, you may need to account for the cost of electric, gas, a TV licence, contents insurance, internet and water.


4. Make sure you move in with the right people

You are signing a legally binding contract, which is a huge step to take with people you haven’t known for very long. Take your time and make sure nobody is having second thoughts.


5. Go house hunting as a group

You should all visit the property and agree on it before you sign the contract. Remember, if you are a joint tenant (meaning all your names are included in the contract), you are all equally liable for the rent and damages for the entire property. If one of you decides to leave or refuses to move in, the full rent is still due.


6. Take your time, don’t feel rushed and always ask questions

It’s a good idea to compare a few properties before you make a decision. NUS have put together a useful checklist of things to look out for when you are viewing a property - read it here.


7. Check whether the landlord is accredited

Make sure your landlord or agency is accredited by Manchester Student Homes. This means that they have demonstrated a commitment to meet certain standards and gives you more protection if things go wrong during your tenancy.


8. Make sure you get an inventory

It is important to document the condition of the property and any fixtures, fittings and furniture. Make a written inventory as well as taking lots of photos and videos.


9. Check the details of the tenancy deposit

As long as you leave the house in the same condition as when you moved in, you should receive your full tenancy deposit back. Your deposit should be kept in a government approved Tenancy Deposit Scheme and this can help you negotiate your deposit back if necessary.


10. Bring your tenancy agreement to the Advice Centre so we can check it

Let us look over the small print for you so that you can be sure of what you are signing.


Feeling overwhelmed, don’t know where to start, or just want to check you’re on the right track? We're here to help.

If you need any advice or support on renting, or any other problem, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Advice Centre.

T: 0161 247 6533





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