Unless you are already something of a property expert, you’re going to have to be extremely careful when it comes to selecting and vetting your chosen student accommodation. Actually finding quality student accommodation in Newcastle isn’t what you would call difficult these days as there are simply thousands of properties and hundreds of landlords all looking to let out their places. That being said, it is often the landlord that will make the biggest difference of all with regard to whether or not any student’s stay at university is an enjoyable one and a fantastic property can never make up for a terrible landlord.
This is why it is important to know exactly which questions you should be asking your landlord long before even considering signing on the dotted line. So for those in the process of seeking student accommodation or considering doing so in the near future, what follows is a quick introduction to some of the most important questions you should never proceed without asking and addressing in full:
How Long Have You Been Letting Out to Students?
This may not appear to be the most pivotally important question on the surface, though, is in fact an absolute must. The reason being that letting out to students is quite different than letting out long-term to mainstream tenants. In addition, you also need to find out how long they have been letting out in general as there is often nothing worse than dealing with a landlords who has only just started letting out properties and generally does not have a clue what they are doing. Suffice to say, in all such cases it is a recipe for disaster.
What Will I Have to Pay On Top Of the Rent?
Any good landlords will usually make it clear as to exactly what is and is not included in the rental price. More often than not, on top of the rent you will be required to pay your own utilities such as gas and electricity plus any other building maintenance and administration fees as specified. None of these are unnecessarily to be taken as unfair or suspicious, but you do need to make sure you understand all of them and agree to them before signing up.
Do You Offer All-In Packages?
If you are the kind of person who likes to have the heating on full blast for hours on end and tend to use a hell of a lot of electricity day in and day out, there’s a pretty strong chance that an all-inclusive deal could be the best way to go. This is where you pay a higher monthly rental payment, but this covers literally everything. Not all landlords offer these kinds of deals, in fact, most don’t, but if you come across one that does, it can be a very good deal to consider indeed.
To What Extent Are You Insured?
It will be necessary to take out personal insurance to cover your own property and belongings, but at the same time the landlord should also have taken out insurance on the property itself. The reason being that if something goes wrong and your property is affected for a reason that is the fault of the landlord rather than yourself, it should not come down to your policy to cover it.
When Were the Appliances Last Replaced?
Some interpret this question as being picky, though in reality it has two very important roles to play. First of all, and most obviously, it’s never nice to move into a new place knowing that the appliances in there are completely old and worn out. On top of this, when and where appliances are not replaced often it is usually a clear sign of a landlord that does not particularly care about his or her tenants. In addition, if the landlord takes unkindly to being asked this question in the first place, this is again a sign of a landlord that isn’t necessarily the right landlord to be dealing with.
Do You Have References?
It is perfectly normal for landlords to request references from their tenants, so why not the other way around? After all, this is an important decision for everyone involved, so the least you can ask for is a couple of references to verify that the landlord is indeed all they are cracked up to be.
Can I Get Back to You?
Last but not least, if you are not 100% convinced that the time of viewing the place and speaking to the landlord, don’t be afraid to ask for a little time. One sure-fire sign of a landlord you’re probably better off avoiding is any sign that you are being rushed into a decision.