Choosing your student accommodation for your time at University can be a daunting prospect. There are many important decisions to make – what type of accommodation? How much should I pay? What’s is the best location for me? Do I want bills included or not?
You will be able to find advice and help from many different sources. For example, other students who can tell you about their own experiences, your student union and local letting agents.
The letting agent is the link between you and the landlord. They are there to help you with your house, flat or studio selection (they will have many accommodation options for you to choose from), they will help you through the paperwork and they will organise the practicalities of moving in (available dates, collecting keys, what to bring etc.).
There are landlords who work directly with tenants and that type of arrangement works well for many people. If you are unsure about that and want help and advice from someone, who will also be looking after your interests, then booking through a professional letting agent could be the option for you.
Good agents will work for both their landlords, who are paying for the service they deliver, and the tenant who will need help when repairs or maintenance are required. It is in the agent’s interests for those relationships to work as smoothly as possible. They do this by working with landlords who understand the particular needs of the student rental marketplace, by being clear in communication and, as in the case of Sulets, working to a Code of Practice and service commitments that mean that both tenants and landlords know what is expected of them during the tenancy.
Letting agents will take you through the whole process and look after you while you are in the accommodation. That starts with the viewing and discussions on the type of property that you want and the amount you want to pay. They will know their properties so will be able to advise on what would work best for you.
They will then take you through the paperwork and make sure you understand everything that you are signing for. They will also explain what is expected of you as a tenant – keeping the house tidy and damage free for example. That also applies for landlords and their commitments. The agent will ensure repairs are carried out and maintenance and cleaning are completed in line with commitments in the tenancy agreement.
During the tenancy one of the important activities of the letting agent is to ensure fire safety equipment (alarms and smoke detectors) are tested in line with fire regulations. This is an often overlooked, but crucial, aspect of their role. The risk to life from fire is clear and professional agents ensure that management of this aspect of living in rented accommodation is a number one priority.
And of course they are there at the end of the tenancy as well. The agent will supply all the detail you need to ensure vacating your accommodation is as smooth as possible. They will also carry out final inspections to ensure the return of deposits is fairly managed.
For more independent help and advice see the professional guides on the Sulets website – sulets.com/advice-and-support