House Hunting Tips for Students

The start of a new year also means that the “housing hunt” is well underway for students at Aberystwyth University. Gone are the days of rushing to get a house before it’s snapped up by another eager group – who can forget the few years where housing was at a shortage? Well, it’s not anymore and so as students, there is more time to find that perfect house. We’ve put together some top house hunting tips (that we’d also recommend to anyone renting) for you.

  1. Start your search early – but don’t jump into anything. We’re really keen on making sure that you know when a property is good value, and this can only be done by viewing plenty, and “getting your eye in”.
  2. Ask plenty of questions – come prepared with some general questions, such as “are bills included?”, “what’s the deposit amount?”, “where is the deposit held?”, “who is in charge of the utilities?”. Not only do you leave knowing a good amount about the property and the tenancy, you’ll likely leave a good impression on the landlord or agency too.
  3. If viewing with a group of friends or partner – agree on a budget. Especially important with groups, because you don’t want someone dropping out because it’s out of their price range (and then leaving you paying that rent also).
  4. For those new to the area, Google maps is your friend! Check out street names and locations of bus stops or nearest shops. You’ll be surprised how convenient much of Aberystwyth is!
  5. Due diligence – do a little bit of research into your rights as a tenant, but also into what your landlord or agent should be doing. For example, all deposits have to be registered now with tenancy deposit protection schemes like the DPS, and can’t be kept by the landlord personally. All landlords and agents should be registered with Rent Smart Wales, and all houses with 3 or more people should have an HMO licence.
  6. Really go over the tenancy agreement – it’s a legally binding document, and should be treated as one (we come across so many tenants who are shocked when they decide to leave early or breach the tenancy, that it’s legally binding). Don’t be afraid to ask questions about it, any landlord or agent should be happy to explain the terms.

You might have spotted this post in the January edition of the Aberystwyth EGO!