Tuesday, 08 September 2015
Advice for students in rented accommodation
Factors to consider if you're thinking about rented accommodation
There are a number of issues that you might encounter as a student living in rented accommodation, but it is important to remember you are not alone while living away from home and there is always likely to be someone who can relate to your problems. It might feel like the odds are against you when tackling tenancy issues, as housing law can be hard to understand (even for law students). It is important not to make assumptions about the law, so if you find yourself in difficulty it is best to refer to your university/college's housing office. It is important that you take out appropriate student contents insurance to keep your property safe away from home.
Financial difficulty can be problematic, leading to stressful situations that can harm your studies, but they need not be faced alone. If you find yourself encountering money trouble then you should seek help as soon as possible. Contacting your housing office can help you request money from the institution's Access to Learning Fund, or provide you with information about other hardship grants. One thing you should prioritise is student share contents insurance, to help protect your possessions in your student accommodation.
When it comes to repairs within your accommodation; things like the structure of the property, sanitary installations, its hot water and heating systems will usually need to be fixed by your landlord. Report any defects to your landlord as soon as you detect them so that they might be repaired as quickly as possible. Your landlord will have the right to access your property with reasonable notice to make repairs, or without notice to make emergency repairs. It is important that you take out halls of residence insurance when you live in student halls.
When you share accommodation with friends, it is likely that you will be made to sign a joint tenancy agreement. When you do this you will become jointly liable for any breaches to the contract, so you might have to pay for damage caused by your flatmates or outstanding amounts of rent if someone moves out without notice. If this happens, it is advisable to speak to the landlord as soon as possible and to the applicable house/flat mate where possible. You should be able to replace missing flatmates, but if your landlord objects you might be entitled to seek redress for unfair contractual terms. It is a good idea to have student contents insurance in place in case of unexpected losses.
Sometimes you might be covered by your parents' home insurance while you are staying in university accommodation, but it is always worth checking to see if this is the case and what it covers if it is. If you are not covered, it is wise to seek your own policy as students are particularly vulnerable to loss from theft. It can be difficult to get student share contents insurance from mainstream insurers, but this is not the case with HomeProtect. With HomeProtect you can get a competitive online quote for halls of residence insurance or student contents insurance as you require it.