If your child’s away at university, you want to make sure they get the best student house they can. But, it’s best to leave the choice up to them.
We’ve come up with 4 ways that you can research student accommodation with your child. If you carry out some research with your child, or even simply talk through these things, you’ll know that they’ll be able to make the right choice and get the ideal student house for them.
Obviously, rent is one of the key aspects of accommodation that you’ll need to worry about. The price of student homes can vary widely, so you and your child need to make sure you understand their budget and how much they can afford.
However, it’s not just about the monthly rent. Carefully research all of the other things your child will need to pay for. Student homes usually don’t include bills, so your child and their housemates will need to split their utility bills.
For example, if a house is slightly more expensive in monthly rent but significantly better insulated, you may find that it works out cheaper.
Also, look closely at the other aspects of a rental property. Deposits can vary significantly, as well as the fees that you’ll have to pay to sign the contracts.
It’s always worth being clear about who the landlord is for a rental property, and if they’re part of the national landlord association scheme.
If the property is a managed let, investigate the company. Look at their reviews online and check their reputation. You can overlook one or two bad experiences, but a pattern of bad reviews might indicate a company with poor customer service.
If possible, it’s a good idea to try and check with older students in the area to see if they’ve had experiences with a specific company.
Any landlord or lettings agent will need to put your child’s deposit into a deposit protection scheme, and they’re responsible for providing gas safety certificates as well as ensuring the property has working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
Contracts for student homes can be difficult. Some landlords feel the need to include lots of protection for their property, which is understandable – but you don’t want to get caught out!
Check things like the contract length to ensure that it’s suitable, and make sure you understand exactly why your deposit may be used at the end of a tenancy.
University housing departments usually provide a service where they check through lettings contracts for you, and make sure your child isn’t being taken advantage of.
Location is essential for a student property. Check out the public transport links and proximity to shops and other amenities.
Also, make sure you understand how far away from university the property is. This is where your child will be spending most of their time, so a long commute can really add up over the year.
It’s also worth looking at crime rates and other statistics for the local area. You can check these on most property search sites, such as Zoopla, and they’re a good way to get a basic understanding of what the local area may be like.
Thinking about university options with your child? MyUniChoices is a great way to get them to research all of their choices. Our destination matching tool highlights universities and courses that are the best fit for their interests.