pitfalls of finding a home to rent in Leicestershire are numerous
and can be expensive.
you’ve worked out how many people you’re looking for a house with,
you’re in a position to start contacting landlords and view properties.
Student Housing Office doesn’t visit, check or approve any of the
properties they advertise, so you need to be on the alert.
students take on accommodation at their own risk. If you’re unfamiliar
with renting privately, you should be aware of the following:
- either in a group or on your own, you’re entering into a legal
the majority of landlords are honest, some may not be honourable.
It’s in your best interest to read all the fine print and be cautious.
is plenty of accommodation for all students in Leicester, even
in an emergency. So, don’t rush into accepting a property.
property is furnished, but you’ll need to bring bedding, crockery
and kitchen utensils. And don’t forget the TV licence.
will be looking for the best deal you can - but be aware
that you get the right kind of housing for you
take the first place you see. The standard of accommodation varies
considerably, so it’s likely to take a short time to become acquainted
with what to expect for your money.
to negotiate. Most landlords are willing to negotiate over rent
and improvements. The best time to do this is BEFORE you sign
for signs of damp, bad heating, poor insulation and condensation.
Although it will be warm when you start house hunting, come winter,
the story will be different. Try to imagine what the property
will be like in winter.
the gas and electric appliances. Check for signs of suspect wiring
and faulty gas appliances and make sure the landlord supplies
you with a copy of a current gas certificate, which can only be
issued by a CORGI registered engineer.
your landlord promises to have repairs or alterations carried
out before you move in, make sure you they put it in writing.
By doing this, the chances of jobs actually being done (and on
time) are significantly improved.
the academic year runs for about nine months, you may be asked
to commit to a 12 month tenancy agreement. You could use this
point to negotiate a reduced rate of rent while you aren’t occupying
viewing a property, you might find the following checklist valuable:
Ask the landlord/agent to see a currently valid gas safety certificate.
This is a legal requirement.
Check to see if all of the furniture and furnishings are fire resistant.
This is a legal requirement.
to make sure the things in your new home are up to scratch and
Check that the house has enough furniture for all of you. If the
house is for four people, does it have four beds? Can you seat four
people comfortably in the sitting room?
Is there central heating? Is there gas or electricity? And does
it work. Ask the landlord to show you how it operates.
Do all of the windows open? Are any of the window panes cracked
or broken? Are the window frames in good condition?
Check the walls for dampness. You may like to move furniture placed
against a wall and look for dampness behind it - it may have deliberately
been positioned there to cover a damp area.
Do the rooms need decorating? If the rooms do need decorating, who
is going to do it and who is going to pay for it? Remember to ask
the landlord to put in writing any promises she/he may make regarding
repairs and redecoration.
to see if the garden and surrounding areas are tidy and habitable
Are you happy with the security of the property? Ideally, two bolts,
one at the top and another at the bottom of the front and back doors
will make the doors difficult to force open. Check to see if the
ground floor windows have locks as well.
Ask who will be responsible for cleaning the windows, tidying the
garden and cutting the lawn.
Are you happy with the rent that is being asked of you? If you’re
not happy, negotiate.
Who will be paying the water rates?
How much deposit is the landlord asking for? If the landlord is
asking for more than £150, think again, More than £150
is too much.
Look outside the property. Is the garden neat and tidy? Has the
house been maintained to a reasonable standard? Does the outside
of the property need painting? Is the woodwork sound? Can you lock
the back gate - does it need repairing? Has the landlord provided
a dustbin or wheelie bin? Can you see the drain properly?
If there are tenants in the house, ask them what the landlord is
like. Ask if maintenance and repairs are carried out quickly and
if they are a reasonable person to deal with. Ask if there have
been any problems with the landlord previously.
you’ve checked these points, ask yourself if you like the house.
If you do, then you’re ready to proceed. If you don’t like the house,
tell the agent/landlord and walk away.
be pressured into renting a property you’re not sure about. If you
agree to rent a property, the landlord or agent will be keen for
you to sign an agreement and pay money immediately. Look over the
you agree to the terms and conditions set out in the contract? A
reasonable landlord will give you 24 hours to consider a contract.
the contract to the Student Housing Office or the Welfare and Education
Centre in the Student Union to have it checked over.
- don’t sign or pay money unless you are totally happy with the
contractual arrangement and make sure you get a copy of the contract.
responsibilities as a tenant
easy to think that the landlord is the only one who has to act in
a responsible manner. But, the same is expected of you at the tenant.
You will need to:
Pay your rent as it is due
Show respect for the property and contents
Show respect for other tenants and neighbours - noise is a common
cause of disputes
Allow the landlord access (which is usually arranged by appointment)
to carry out maintenance
Only make alterations to the property with the landlord’s approval
Given written notice to your landlord if you wish to leave (remember
- this must be in accordance with your tenancy agreement)
Make sure you don’t take in lodgers