Excited about living in town next year?
23 June 2016
Moving into town is the next step on your student journey, but can become a stress for some if not done properly.
We have 5 common mistakes for you to avoid:
1. The contract starts in July, but you won't be collecting your keys until September. This is a problem because you have a legal responsibility for the property from the moment the contract starts. Make sure at least one of your group visits the house when the contract starts.
- You need to check the condition of the property at the start- if there are problems they are easier to resolve early so your house is fit for living in by the time your course starts again.
- You need to complete and sign the inventory- this is essential, and must be done in the first few days or the agent/landlord will deem you to have accepted their version- which might not be accurate. The inventory is your evidence for when you want your deposit back- ignore it at your peril.
2. Putting the utilty bills into one person's name. This is a terrible thing to do because the person names is the only one liable for the bill. If your housemates decide to not pay for the utilities you could be left facing debt collectors and court orders on your own (this really does happen we see it!).
- If your are in an all-inclusive agreement DO NOT allow the agent to put the names of the tenants on the bill (check what you have signed). If they do this (and some do) then again you are liable for the bills but the agent has to pay them. Sometimes they don't pay, and YOU are the person who will have to deal with it all.
3. You have forgotten to budget for the rent due over the summer. Unless you have negotiated with your landlord you will have to pay rent over the summer even if you are not living in the house. Plan your budget carefully to make sure you have enough money to cover this rent as you won't be getting a student loan until October.
4. You open a joint bank account with the other tenants. No! Please don't do this- when you link yourself financiall to other people this will be reflected on your credit score. That might not seem so important now but laton, if one of them gets into debt your name will be linked and it could affect your ability to take out loans, open bank accounts or even get a mortgage!
5. You have not taken out any house contents insurance. You really need to do this as a tenant incase of accidential damage to the house that you could be liable for (e.g. a flooded bathroom, fire in the kitchen) or you are broken into and belongings stolen (can you afford to lose all your gadgets and computer?).