Renting a student room – things you should do first
If you are ready to head off to college, one of the things that you will need to take care of right from the start is actually finding accommodation. Despite the numerous offers you will stumble upon, if you want to keep your expenses to a minimal, coming across an affordable option will not be that easy. Renting a room in a share house might be the most convenient possibility for you at the moment, and although this option is in fact advantageous, there are a few risks you need to take into account. To be as precautious as possible, and avoid facing potential inconveniences later one, you will need to do a few things first, before actually signing a lease, starting with the following:
Deposit and payment methods
Start by asking the landlord about their preferred deposit and rent payment methods. Because financial scams are the main thing you need to worry about, when it comes to renting a room, this should be a starting point in your accommodation hunt. It’s important for the person offering you the rental to present you with safe payment transfer methods, especially if you are unable to meet with the landlord before paying the deposit (you might want to secure your room before anyone else takes away a good deal from you). Also, make sure the account you are transferring money to is registered, and avoid paying pre-paid users.
Do a background check on the landlord and flatmates
What you can do to ensure the reliability fo your choice, and to be certain you are dealing with trustworthy people, whether it’s the landlord you have contacted or the flatmates you will be living with is to do a background check on them. Nowadays, you have access to all kinds of tools in this department. Lookup site are probably the safest, and most convenient option put at your disposal, allowing you to discover all the details you need regarding an individual. By simply having a name and address or a phone number, you will be able to access all the information you need to reach a conclusion. Criminal records, property history, social media accounts, law suits and many more aspects can be thoroughly discovered by simply resorting to the right background search tool. This should be one of the first steps you take, before even making the time to check out the property in person.
Request a copy of the rental agreement
Before signing a tenancy contract, you need to read carefully what is being stipulated there. Because you might not have the time nor the patience to handle this task on the spot, it’s best if you request the landlord to provide you with a copy in advance. This way, you can take all the time you need to go through every detail written there, and see if there’s anything that raises red flags. If you have any misunderstandings, or something seems rather unclear, you can always resort to a professional and ask them to take a look over your tenancy agreement. Many so-called landlord use documentations of this sort to scam potential tenants, so don’t take any chances and pay attention to this particular aspect.
Research the neighborhood
Because you are renting accommodation in a city you might not know much about, doing a bit of research on different areas before signing a lease is recommended. The landlord might actually be a trustworthy person, and your future flatmates might seem like nice people, but if the building is situated in a less friendly part of towns, safety concerns could arise. Nowadays, you can find almost anything on the web, so before looking into an appealing offer further, do a quick search on the internet and see if the neighborhood is one where you will feel safe living.
Trust your gut
Last but not least, you should keep in mind that sometimes, trusting our instinct might be the right thing to do. When first meeting with the landlord, seeking the room and even chatting with your future flatmates, see what your gut is telling you. If something seems off with the accommodation or with the people living there, perhaps it is best if you just go another way. There are plenty of offers available, so you shouldn’t decide on an option that doesn’t feel righfrom the start.
As you can see, it’s important to research a few relevant things before renting out a room as your student accommodation. Skipping on the student university halls and other options that may be a bit more expensive and inconvenient, and opting for a room rental and shared accommodation instead is certainly more advantageous from a financial point of view, as well as for other strong reasons. However, there are more safety concerns involved, so it’s best if you handle your room hunt by the book, and follow these essential guidelines.