Finding Somewhere to Live
1. Have you applied for University accommodation? The rent may not be the lowest you could get, but the cost of the deposit is small, and you don’t have to pay extra for heating, water or the electric or the internet. And it’s easy to complain to the University when things go wrong.
2. Looking for student-friendly accommodation? Try www.studentpad.co.uk . BUT – these properties are not vetted by the Uni or by the Students’ Union. Be careful, and get advice on the contract before signing.
3. Looking for reputable estate agents? Search for estate agents registered with the Association of Residential Lettings Agents see www.arla.co.uk. You may pay more renting through an estate agent, but good ones know their legal duties, and you may have fewer problems.
4. What if these aren’t suitable for my needs? Then contact the Advice Service as soon as possible. We can’t achieve the impossible, but we can help you review your options, and perhaps identify a few that you haven’t thought of.
5. Don’t leave where you are unless you’ve got somewhere else to live! If you don’t know whether or not you can stay where you are, get advice. Don’t leave just because the landlord has asked you to. You may have legal rights to stay.
6. Homeless? Get advice. Speak to your Students’ Union adviser or contact Shelterline. We cannot provide emergency housing , however.
7. Give yourself at least 2 – 4 weeks to find somewhere to live. Visit the property – check it’s suitable for you (and not in a bad state!). See the accommodation checklist at http://www.greenwichstudentpad.co.uk/Help#anc_1 . The landlord may want references from you, and a deposit. Do not take on a private letting without viewing it first!
8. What can you afford? What’s your budget, and how much are average rents where you are looking for somewhere to live? To find out the average costs for what you are looking for in your area, go to https://lha-direct.voa.gov.uk/search.aspxRemember that you don’t just have to budget for the rent, you will probably have to pay a month’s rent as a deposit, and to pay the first month’s rent in advance.