It’s exciting upgrading from student halls to live with your mates in your very own pad, but it can also be a little bit daunting. If you don’t know what to look for in a house, or are a bit confused by the renting terminology, the team at Chester Student Lets have knocked up a helpful checklist of things you should know before you sign your name on the dotted line.
1. Make sure you have a guarantor (or an alternative) in place
What’s a guarantor? Well, a guarantor is a third party that agrees to pay your rent if for some reason you cannot. Most students are required to have a guarantor sign for them in order to secure a Chester rental home. Who can you ask? Well, anyone that meets the criteria to pay your rent if you can’t, lives in the UK and is prepared to have a credit check really, but usually guarantors are a parent, guardian, or relative. If this has thrown you into a state of panic, don’t worry, CSL have a couple of options for people who don’t have someone who fits the guarantor criteria.
2. Make sure your landlord provides you with an inventory
An inventory is simple really, it’s a list of furniture, white goods, and any other items that were in the house when you moved in, so that when you move out you are not liable for the removal of an item (fridge/lamp/bizarre-painting-of-cats-in-frilly-hats) that was already there. For premium CSL houses you’ll get an inventory emailed to you, otherwise you should ask your landlord to provide you with one. Check the inventory, make sure it’s detailed, and make sure to add anything that’s not already written onto the list.
3. Take photos of damage
Not all houses let by private landlords are as spic and span as CSL’s. See a mysterious brown stain on the wall? Carpet dotted with the odd vino spillage? Take pictures and make sure they’re time-stamped and dated, so that you won’t be charged for any damage that isn’t yours.
4. Learn the mysterious art of reading the meters
Learning how to read the meters in your new home will help you keep an eye on those energy bills. By 2020, most homes (including Chester Student Lets) are required to have smart meters, which will make it even easier in the future to make a convincing case to your stingy housemate that you can afford to keep the heating on in midwinter.
5. Keep in touch with your landlord or letting agency
If something isn’t working, the best thing to do is contact your landlord or your lovely letting agency <blush>, as they can sort out anything that needs to be fixed. And for CSL premium houses, we’ve made this super easy for you, as all your repairs can be logged online using your phone!
6. Inform the council that you don’t need to pay tax
One of the best things about being a student is that you don’t need to pay council tax (hooray!), but you do need to provide CSL with your Council Tax Exemption form from the university if you’re a premium tenant, or give it to your landlord.
7. Designate a Bills MC
If you’re not on an all inclusive contract, once you’ve moved in, assign yourselves ‘lead tenant’, as it’s often easiest to funnel bills (or the co-ordination of bills) through that one person. Just make sure you give them your share on time – no one wants the electricity to go out midway through a Netflix binge.
8. Don’t be afraid to ask questions
Questions like: what’s the area like? Can I access fast food in this neighbourhood at 3am? How noisy is the road? Are there good bus routes to the uni? Is there a cab stand nearby in case I am suuuuppper late for a lecture? All questions are fair game, as you want to feel comfy as possible in your new home.
If you do have any questions about any of our houses, or would like to view the student homes that we have available, check them out here.