Landlords offer lots of different deals, but you need to look beyond the weekly rent figure.
When deciding to rent a place to live there are a number of things you will have to take into consideration in terms of finances, and where you choose to live and how much you decide to spend will depend on things such as:
- The amount of loan you get each term.
- If you have to pay your rent quarterly or monthly.
- If you have any other sources of income (for example, a part-time job).
Unipol have got info on average rents here so you can compare to see if you are looking at a good deal.
Do some maths, look at your income per month/week (student loans, part time job etc.) then minus money for the rent on the property you're looking at, plus average bills (including WiFi), and other outgoings (food, travel, going out). This will help you to get an idea of how much you are willing to spend on rent and can help you to budget for the year.
Most housing contracts are for a 52 week period (from July 1st to June 30th), if you do sign up for a 52 week contract, try and negotiate with your letting agent/landlord for a summer rent concession.
But it’s not just about rent, you’ll also need to think about:
- Utility bills, ask current tenants how much they pay to get a good idea or look at the Energy Efficiency Rating
- If you’ve got ‘all inclusive’ rent, is there a ‘fair usage’ policy in the small print? You may not be able to have the heating on all the time.
- Will all inclusive work out cheaper than paying for bills separately?
- Do you have to pay a sign-up fee?
- When is your first installment of rent due and will your Student Loan be in time to pay?
- Is the internet or TV package included?
- How much is your deposit?
If you sign a joint agreement then you could be responsible for your housemates’ rent if they don’t pay.
Check if the contract allows the landlord to make any additional charges. LUU Advice have a free online contract checking form which you can use before you sign your contract.
But if you have any questions about your house come into see us at LUU Advice.