When you’re moving to a new country to study, it can be daunting. You’ve got lots of things to worry about: finances, location and finding the right course. Aside from that, you’ll also need to organise the actual logistics of moving.
Most UK universities offer accommodation in either student halls or in private lettings. As you begin to organise the coming years of study, finding the right property is one of the most important choices you’ll make. Here are some tips from experienced lettings agency, Letslivehere.
Work out your finances
If you’re moving from overseas, you’ll need to get a good estimate of your finances to work out just what you can afford. Look at the deposit and be aware of any additional fees of potential properties. If you’re moving in with a group, you’ll all need to agree on what your budget is and what you will feel comfortable paying each month.
Make sure all your fellow tenants’ details are correct and they have some kind of guarantor in case they quit university midway through a year and you need to pay their side of the rent.
Choose your location
Regardless of what city you choose to study in, you’ll need to do some research into the area so you can choose a flat in an appropriate spot. You’ll need to consider how far you’re willing to walk, what public transport is on offer and whether or not you want a quiet area or a more party-focused one.
Inspect the property
When it’s time to inspect any flats or homes you’re interested in, there are a few things you’ll have to look out for. Don’t sign an agreement until you’ve assessed a property for the following things:
Mould/Damp: Look out for any black or darkened areas on walls, inside cupboards and wardrobes and in the corners of rooms.
Pests/insects: Landlords will try to hide any evidence of an infestation, so keep an eye out for snail trails or rat droppings that might be hidden.
Check the water supply and electricity supply are both fully functional.
Check all the furniture and fittings and make sure they’re in good working order. Look out for wobbly chairs and tables and ensure the landlord is aware of any broken furniture so you don’t get charged for it later in the year.
Take a look at the security the property offers. See how secure the locks on the doors are and if the area has CCTV and is well-lit. In busier cities, this is a must.
Quiz the landlord
It can be hard to do this if you’re shy but when you’re being shown around the flat, it’s worth asking the landlord about the property. This is your chance to ask any questions or get any concerns out in the open. If the landlord appears uncomfortable or can’t answer simple questions about the flat, you might want to look elsewhere.