Its Student Party Time - ideal accommodation

If you enjoy drunken nights out and clubbing till the early hours with after parties in your back garden, you may not fit in with domestically neat rows of terraced houses we have grown accustomed to where your neighbour is not best pleased that your drum and bass has woken her 6 month old at 4am on a Saturday.

There are several options available for you to consider which would allow you to maintain your party lifestyle without offending innocent neighbours and causing unwanted attention from disgruntled fellow citizens.

Have you considered looking into student rentals or areas which are highly populated with students? Students usually frequent the early hours of the morning, lying quietly in bed till the late morning before attending lectures rather than needing to be up at day break and wanting to sleep at 10pm. If you are a night owl it may well be worth looking into these areas heavily laden with students.

Ask in Lettings agents about student properties and areas where they are in huge supply and then you can look into properties in these areas which would suit your needs and budget. You are also likely to find that properties in typical student areas are far cheaper in rental amounts as they allow for the lack of funding which is afforded to many students.

Many properties which are designed for student let will let out individual rooms to students on individual contracts, others will let out whole houses so depending on your budget and needs this will mean that you will have several options open to you.

If you live alone but would like (and can afford) to rent a house rather than just a room, you could consider sub-letting one or two rooms of the property to students or other likeminded individuals, but be aware that their party habits may not necessarily fit with yours and you may end up complaining for them to turn the music down if you have to work the next day!

Other options open to you are to look into town centres, reducing travel costs to work if you work nearby, and near enough to walk home after an evening out. You are unlikely to find as many families living in small flats near the town centre and your partying habits may be a little more acceptable. Do consider, however, that the cost of accommodation in town centres is significantly higher which is likely to increase your budget requirements significantly.

Alternatively, you could advertise for like-minded individuals who would like to house-share a larger house out of town. Look for people who like to party but also work (so they can afford their share of the bills), larger houses surrounded by  a little more open land are a great alternative to annoying your neighbours or being annoyed by the continuous party antics of students in student areas!

Explain your needs clearly to lettings agents, ensure they have an understanding of not only the sort of property you are looking for but that you would like to live somewhere where you can have the odd late night party and not upset neighbouring households. They will more than likely have had similar requests in the past and will know of areas which are appropriate for your requirements. Also consider the length of tenancy that you sign up to – you may enjoy the party lifestyle at the moment but you may not do in two years time, so it is important to consider that long term your priorities may change and you may want to be in a more conventional property.

potential problems with student lets

Work out what your property is worth on the rental market and then work out what you could get by renting it out to students. For example if you have a 3 bedroom place which would take around £750 a month in rental income and you can rent it out as a 4 bedroom student accommodation (taking the living room as a bedroom) charging students a base rate of £200 a month, then this would be more profitable. However, there are several things you would need to consider in this equation before making your decision.

Firstly, what decorating and repair bills are you likely to face in comparison to renting your property out in the more traditional way? Students are not known for being the most respectful of property and it wouldn’t be unheard of for them to party the night away. What sort of area is your property in? If it is near to a university campus this is excellent news for potential lettings to students, but who lives in the neighboring houses? If it is little old ladies and families with young children they may not be too pleased at the prospect of living next to 5 19 year olds who want to party till 3am now that Mum is looking over their shoulder!

Are you likely to face unpaid rent arrears or end up chasing payments for bills which have not been paid? Consider this before letting your property and make sure that any utility companies have the tenant’s names prior to completing contracts (you will likely need a lead tenant who will be ultimately responsible for the bills). Consider the costs of potential court action if it comes to it, who will pay for this process of chasing unpaid arrears? It could well cost more to try and recover the money than the money which hasn’t been paid which means you may be better off taking a loss financially than attempting to recover these funds.

Remember that students have unlikely been in charge of anything related to running a home before, so make sure you go through their responsibilities with them at the outset of the contract. Ensure that they know exactly which bills are included and which are their responsibility. The last thing you need is a large council tax bill when they leave, but you could include this in their rental prices and pay it upfront to avoid such an occurrence.

You need to clearly detail in your contact exactly which responsibilities are whose. It is unlikely that a group of students will pay a window cleaner on a regular basis – if this is important to you then build it into the contract (charge them for this as part of your regular rental amount), but remember that the higher your rental charges the less competitive you become with other student landlords in the area and clean windows will not necessarily be an incentive for students to pay more for their accommodation (they probably won’t care much if the windows are shiny!)

It is vital to consider than most students will not have much of a credit record for you to search to check their reliability. This is due to the fact they are mostly young adults starting out in their financially independent journey! Therefore, you will be taking on tenants blindly in the hope that they will pay their bills and do so on time and that you will not end up having to chase them for funds which are overdue! There isn’t much you can do about this in a student let as it is unlikely any of them will have much of a financial background to go by.

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Out of the halls and into a student house

Congratulations on surviving your first year at university! If you are still alive after all the late night partying, binge drinking and a diet of pasta and toast you are doing ok and will probably see it through to the end of your course. But just to throw a spanner in the works you will now need to move on from the comfort and security of the student halls and find somewhere new to live for the next year. So where to start? Well by now you have hopefully made a few friends and got to know some people who are studying the same subjects as you. Most student accommodation is shared, so finding like minded people to live with is the first step. If you are studying the same subjects at least your lectures will be at the same times, there is nothing worse than living with someone who wants to party all night because they have a day of the next day when you need to be up at 8am for an exam. You will be living in each others pockets for the next year or so, so it  is vital you get on, learn to compromise and dare I say it grow-up a bit..ouch!

Surviving in student accommodation without mum

I don’t know about you, but I have been pretty pampered while living at home with my parents. I help out a bit – I mean – I leave my washing in the basket and put it away when my Mum leaves the clean clothes in a neat pile on my bed! But I have never really had to be responsible at home. Now that I will be heading to university soon, it has dawned on me that there is quite a bit which I am going to have to start doing for myself, I think this might be a learning curve. So, I have been doing some research……………

The basics of running a household for yourself (after finding accommodation) include cleaning, cooking, washing and shopping.

So I have found a big detached shared student house 10 minutes from the University campus, there will be 3 other rooms let to other students and we will have a communal living room, kitchen/diner and a bathroom. There is also a small garden which will be perfect for summer bbq parties. The Landlord is really friendly and has let the house to students for quite a few years so he knows what he is doing. The house is perfect really; there is a bed, desk, chair and wardrobe in each bedroom which will give me space to do my work. The contract will be between each individual tenant and the landlord which seems better to me as I won’t really know the others and would not want to have to be responsible for their rent if they leave before the contract ends.

The other great thing about the Landlord is that he has agreed not to charge rent for the summer holidays. Obviously there are a couple of months over the summer where I can move back home to save some money on rent and hopefully get a summer job to top up my finances, so this will really help!

Cleaning – I guess, being that I will be moving into a student house, that we will be responsible for our individual areas and share the other household areas – living room, bathroom, kitchen etc. Hopefully my housemates will want to at least keep the shared areas a bit clean! I am hoping we can agree on some sort of rota. A hoover will be provided by the Landlord, but we will need to buy other cleaning products. I am assuming we will put money into some sort of kitty to buy things like washing up liquid and bathroom cleaner.

Cooking – I haven’t had much responsibility for cooking for the family at home but my Mum has taught me enough to survive. I want to try and eat quite healthy meals so I am hoping we will have enough freezer space for frozen veg which works out cheaper. Ideally we could do a household shop where everyone puts in a set amount and we buy the shared meals from this. This would be great as we can get cheaper prices by buying bigger packs that will last longer. I hope the others moving in will think this is a good idea too!

Washing – we will each be doing our own, I will probably bring some home to Mum!!!!!

Shopping – I would like to do some shared meals, there will be 4 of us living in the house so if we each cook one night a week that will only leave 3 more days.

So although I have never lived alone before and it’s all a bit new and daunting, I don’t think it will be too bad – a bit of an adventure and I am looking forward to the freedom of having my own space and not having curfews etc!