Hey Students, are you thinking about renting a flat in London, whilst attending University? Check this ultimate guide to find your perfect house.
IT ALL STARTS WITH BUDGET
Renting in London can be expansive and it’s better for you to budget yourself very carefully. You have to consider the price of the rent and also the utilities: Council Tax, gas, electricity, water, gas, TV Licence (or Netflix) and the Internet. If you and all of your flatmates are students you won’t be in need to pay Council Tax and if you live with at least one person which is not a student you might be able to receive 25% discount on the bill.
CAREFUL IN CHOOSING YOU FLATMATES
You will have to spend a long time with your flatmates and it’s important to choose them carefully in order to leave peacefully and still be a focus on your studies. Different lifestyles are the main reason for conflicts within a house. It’s better to decide to live with people that are sharing common habits. If you are an early riser than maybe it’s better not to live with party animals. So if you are methodic in cleaning, then it’s better not to live with messy people.
Then if you are moving in with people you knew before or your university colleagues, then it’s better to establish some rules from the beginning, in order to avoid clashes for incomprehension.
Once you have chosen the people you are willing to live with, it’s a good idea to put down a list of the things you are willing to have in the flats, deal-breaker such us the size of the room, parking spaces, breakdown of responsibilities, designating a guarantor for all of you, etc.
WHERE TO MOVE?
You might be willing to look for your new flat at the end of the first term of at the beginning of the second term, depending on your needs.
The main elements you have to consider when choosing the flat are proximity to your university and transport links, the presence of supermarkets, shops and especially the safety of the area.
Feel free to give a look to our selection of properties to find your dream house.
Once you have found your flat and the landlord has accepted your offer, the agency will ask you for some documents, such as passport, proof of address and reference from your university in order to certify your identity. A reference check will also be complete in order to proceed with the preparation of the contract.
You might also be asked to have a guarantor, a person that will be liable to pay the rent if you fail to pay it on time. The guarantor is usually a member of the family or any adult that is at least 25 years old and owns a property.
The contract is a legally binding document and you have to read it carefully. If you have any doubts, the Student Unions can assist you in going through it.
The most common type of contract is the Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) that will make all of the tenants jointly and severally liable. This means that all of you will be responsible for the total rent, not only a portion of it.
The agency will ask you to pay some fees in order to proceed with creating the contract.
Holding Fee: also called also Reservation Fee, the fee includes one week of rent and is due to secure the property and put it out of the market. This is not refundable unless the landlord decides not to proceed with the tenancy from reasons not related to you.
Admin Fee: the admin fee is due to be paid to the agency and covers the costs to prepare the tenancy agreement and run the reference check.
The deposit is usually equal to 4 or 6 weeks of rent and it’s refundable unless at the end tenancy some costs have to be deducted for damages occurred to the property or for rent arrears. The deposit will be also out into a Deposit Protection Scheme, according to the law, within 30 days since you’ve paid it.
CHECK IN – CHECK OUT REPORT
When the Tenancy starts and when it finishes, it’s important that you carefully read the Check in and check out the report, who will assure the conditions of the property when you move in and when you move out.
Check the property yourself and inform the agency if you see any damages not reported, otherwise you might be responsible for them at the end of the tenancy.
You have to move the meter readings into your name. Inform the utility companies in regards to the change of residents and provide the meter readings and moving in date.
Always check if you can find any good discounts (all of the companies are providing them periodically) and provide the name of all of the tenant in order to share responsibility.
Your safety is important and according to the law, you must be provided with gas and electricity certificate. The property must also be provided with fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
Before moving out you have to be given two months notice to the agency which will eventually require your intention when the term is approaching. We will guide you through the necessary steps for your check out.
Before moving out, remember to clean properly the property (hiring a professional cleaner is usually recommended). And remember to call the utility companies to close your accounts.
Do you have any questions in regards to how to rent a property in London as a student? Get in touch with us or write a comment below. A member of our team will soon get in touch with you!