There are technically only two ways by which a person can go about the process of seeking student accommodation in Newcastle. The first of these is the old-fashioned way which involves manually searching for a place and carrying out all the checks without any real assistance. The second and most popular approach these days is that of siding with a professional web based student accommodation agent which plays the role of professional partner and helps with pretty much every step of the process. Suffice to say the latter tend tends to make the most sense in the eyes of most people, though there will always be those who prefer to do things manually.
Of course, those taking the manual approach have every chance of landing an exceptional property for the duration of their stay at university, though there is some work involved. So for those who for whatever the reason choose not to take on the help of the agency, what follows is a quick introduction to some of the key points that must be covered during the vetting process.
1 – Don’t Be Rushed
First of all, never under any circumstances be rushed into a decision even if time is a pressing factor. There isn’t a responsible and professional landlord currently in business that would knowingly pressure tenants into making a decision, unless of course they were genuinely desperate to rent out a place that wasn’t particularly appealing. Being rushed into a decision will not only make it more likely that you’ll make the wrong decision, but it is also a good sign of a landlord you don’t want to be dealing with and the property for one reason or another is hard to shift. Take your time and ensure that the landlord in question acknowledges and respects the importance of you taking your time.
2 – Inspect the Place in Full
When it comes to carrying out the inspection of the place prior to signing the contract, it is important to understand that the simple glance over things will not be sufficient. The problem here is that without professional assistance it can be difficult to know what to look for and what kind of warning signs there may be. As such, it’s a case of using your own judgment and scrutiny to look at the building’s interiors and exteriors to ensure that things appear as they should be. This often means nitpicking to an extent you might not be used to as there is nobody there to help point out things that you might miss.
3 – Gas Safety Certificates/Insurance
You will of course be expected to take out your own insurance to cover your personal possessions and property, but the building as a whole should be insured by the landlord. This is to ensure that if anything goes wrong with the building in a structural sense or should there be a plumbing leak for example, your property will be covered. Perhaps even more importantly, you need to make sure that they have the necessary gas safety certificates and that all appliances and installations have been recently checked and verified as safe.
4 – Ask the Right Questions
Prior to speaking to any given landlord, arm yourself with a list of questions that need to be covered for your own peace of mind. It is important to write down these questions ahead of time as chances are when the time comes you will forget at least a few of them. In terms of what to ask, the most important matters of all to cover include how much you can expect to pay in energy bills, whether or not anybody is on call 24 hours a day in case of emergencies, when the appliances were last replaced and any policies and they may have with regard to decorating.
5 – Contract Checks
Last up, one of the most telltale signs of a landlord you should probably stay away from is a contract that for the most part looks as if it was written in a language you’ve never before come across. The simple fact of the matter here is that landlords know very well that their tenants do not have the same level of knowledge they might have when it comes to lettings and contracts and other such matters. As such, it is nothing more than common sense and polite courtesy to ensure that all contracts are drawn up in a way that can be understood by all parties. If this is not the case, then chances are the landlord does not have the best interests of his or her tenants at heart.