Renting a property

Living away from home can be great fun. But it also brings new responsibilities of rent, bills and living with other people’s anti-social habits. You will need to find somewhere that’s right for you, within budget and be responsible for your rent, bills and safety.

  • Think about what you want from your accommodation, for example: easy to meet people, safety, location, cost, independence, noise levels, suitability for studying.
  • Work out your budget so you know how much you can afford to spend on accommodation, bills, essentials such as food, and on socialising.
  • Look at the web links provided to get an idea of rental costs and locations
  • Use the web links to find out about safety checks for rental properties, contracts, deposits and your rights as a tenant.

When you’re looking at places it’s important to check:

  • You’ll be near to where you need to get to – lectures, shops, nightlife
  • Public transport or parking is easily accessible.
  • The rent is within budget – be prepared to pay a deposit and rent up front, and don’t forget to allow for bills in your budget too.
  • Appliances such as gas and electricity have the relevant certificates and are well maintained.
  • Smoke alarms are fitted and have batteries.
  • There are no damp or unpleasant smells.

Finally, check your contract carefully. Don’t sign on the spot, take it away to read and if in doubt go to your Citizens Advice or Student Services for advice – once you’ve signed it’s too late to get anything changed!

Registered Social Landlords

Registered Social Landlords are the main providers of new social housing. An RSL is a social landlord who is registered with the Housing Corporation – most are housing associations. RSLs do not trade for profit they use any money left over to help maintain existing homes and fund new housing.

To find out more about becoming an RSL tenant and how to receive help with home ownership, you can visit Direct Gov – Housing Associations.

Who can help?

For information and advice on renting a place of your own visit the Radio One Onelife site at www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/onelife/renting or the Housing net site at http://www.housingnet.co.uk/

The accommodationseek website tells you all you need to know about finding accommodation. http://www.accommodationseek.co.uk/

You can view the List of Registered Landlords online.