At Student Rooms 4 U we want to give you the best advice and of course we may be biased but the facts and our reputation speak for themselves. See what we have to offer, check out our website at www.studentrooms4u.co.uk and then read this article so you can decide what best suits your needs.
- All properties within 250m of the University of Plymouth and Plymouth College of Art & Design
- Our properties are all rated ‘A Grade’ for Quality by the University of Plymouth Accommodation Service
- Our shared home prices are inclusive of utilities: gas, electricity, water and fast speed broadband (plus lots of additional benefits)
- All shared houses and apartments have Virgin Media Broadband, with 350mgbs and unlimited uploads and downloads for FREE!
- No deposits
- No administration fees
- No guarantors requested
- Individual tenancies
- Deal directly with us – Your Landlords
Deciding where you’re going to live while studying at university is one of the exciting decisions a fresher gets to make. This is the place where you’ll relax after a day of lectures, the place where you’ll make friends and spend time with them, and all importantly; your private sanctuary if student life gets a bit monotonous. Whether you’re thinking about student halls, private rentals or going through an estate agent, these are the things that should be top of your list.
Some people aren’t too bothered about where they live, but in general, most students want a property that looks nice, appeals to them and feels like home. Both when you’re viewing pictures and when you visit in person, pay attention to your gut instinct. If a property just ‘doesn’t feel right’, that’s a good sign that you should look elsewhere.
For new students, being close to their place of study is key. A cheap property might look attractive, but if it means a long commute to get to class then it probably isn’t worth it. At Student Rooms 4 U, all of our properties are just a short walk away from the University and Art College.
Most students usually start their search by filtering places that are too expensive for their budget. However, before you scratch options from your list, remember that the price listed mightn’t be all that it seems. Student accommodation, especially in Plymouth, differ greatly, and while one price might include bills, another one will expect bill fees to be paid on top of the price listed. Read on for details.
Bills and Extras
If a student home has an attractively cheap price, it’s unlikely that bills will be included. Work out what you expect to pay on things like electricity, water and gas bills, as well as WiFi and a TV licence. Once these items are added onto the initial rate, does it still seem like a good deal?
Also, if you find places where all these bills are included, look out for any catches. For example, if something like WiFi or electricity bills are included in the rental price, are there any caps on how much you’re allowed to use? If bills are included but only offer a tiny amount of usage, it mightn’t be the good deal it seems to be.
If you’re finding it confusing, sit down with someone who has experience of dealing with bills (like your parents) and ask them to help you break down costs to see what you can expect to pay. At Student Rooms 4 U we take the pain out of having to do this because everything is included.
Always read the small print. Some agencies charge administrative fees and will also ask you to foot the bill for a credit check. However, there are companies which don’t require these extra payments from you – at Student Rooms 4 U, we don’t ask our customers to pay any of these extra fees.
Student Rooms 4 U don’t, but many landlords will ask you to pay a deposit on your rental. They should be using an independent authorized tenancy deposit scheme, and you should ask for details about who the deposit is held with, and what their procedure is for returning it to you at the end of your tenancy.
Depending on the type of accommodation you’re looking into, contract lengths will vary. Typically, university halls of residence have shorter contract lengths because the halls close over the summer, or are let out to summer school companies. On the other hand, private rentals or those available through estate agents might offer contracts of 52 weeks.
However, having a long contract isn’t always the best – for example, if you know that you’ll want to be going home over the summer and not staying in your rental, why pick somewhere where you’ll have to continue paying rent over the summer?
If you decide to leave your contract early, some estate agents might charge you an early exit fee. It’s always important to check these details if you think your plans might change and you don’t know for certain if you want to stay over the summer. Also, some private renters might try to force tenants to pay the excess if one of their housemates leaves early. At Student Rooms 4 U, our contracts are worked out individually, and so if one of your housemates leaves early, you won’t be left paying their fees.
Before you move in, you should be given a copy of the inventory. This will list things like what furniture is present in the rental at the start of the contract, and what condition it’s in. The inventory will also note wear and tear in the property. For example, these notes might include ‘dark stain on living room carpet by the door’ or ‘small dent in bedroom wall next to the window’.
It’s important to go through the inventory with a fine toothcomb and check it’s all correct, and most importantly, that there is nothing missing. If you notice pieces of furniture listed which can’t be found in the house, or marks on the walls that aren’t noted down, it’s important you raise these issues immediately. If you don’t, you might find yourself being blamed for these things at the end of the tenancy, and if you didn’t bring it up in the beginning, you’ll have no way to prove it wasn’t you.
Also, taking photographs is recommended if anything is amiss. Generally, you should take photos before you move in anyway, so you can remember how to put the room back when you move out!
How much landlords get involved with the maintenance of a property depends on who you go with. Some landlords are happy for you to sort out minor problems yourself, whereas others prefer it if you alert them to all issues so they can fix it themselves. Also, you should be able to get an indication of how quickly issues are dealt with. For example, if you have a private landlord who doesn’t live locally, they might not be able to respond so quickly as a local company would. At Student Rooms 4 U, we own all our own properties and we are passionate about keep them well maintained and up to date, offering an exceptional maintenance service.
Do your research and take a look again at the bullet point at the beginning of this article to see what Student Rooms 4 U has to offer. Judging from our independent testimonials, you won’t be disappointed. Check us out on Google to see our reviews. Type in “Student Rooms 4 U”.