Given the role this place will play in your studies for the next few years at least, it is impossible to overemphasize the importance of high quality student accommodation. According to the experts at Findspace, never has there been a greater catalogue of student accommodation available to those looking to land a quality pad anywhere in the UK. What’s more, with so many fantastic university accommodation agencies now up and running online, it has also never been easier to find a place and secure it with complete confidence.
However, there will always be those landlords with no real intention of helping anyone other than themselves and who are happy to let out completely inferior and downright unacceptable properties at the expense of students. Most of these can be avoided entirely by working with a quality agency, though it is still important to have your wits about you and to know how to spot a dodgy deal when you see one. So with this in mind, what follows is a quick introduction to six of the most common and easily identifiable signs that the deal you’re onto is indeed a dodgy one:
Suspiciously Low Prices
Firstly and most importantly of all, be aware of the fact that there is no such thing as an outright bargain when it comes to high quality student accommodation. Not that there are no good deals to be found, but when you find a place that seems to be priced considerably lower than everything else in its class and in area with no real explanation, it should be viewed with suspicion. Landlords are not in the habit of letting their properties go to for much as a penny less than they are worth so when and where a prize appears to be too good to be true, chances are it probably is.
Not Represented by an Agency
To assume or state that every landlord that does not work with an agency is not above board would be unfair to say the least. Nevertheless, the only way of largely guaranteeing that the property is of high quality and the landlord can be trusted is to go through an agency. As such, if the property you are looking at is not in any way represented by an agency, you have no way of knowing ahead of time whether or not it really is all it appears to be. Most agencies will not do business with any landlords that are not at the top of their game with exceptional properties.
The Building Looks Rundown
It isn’t as if you have to live in a Victorian mansion or listed building in order to have a great time and to be successful at university, but it is still important to take into account the general maintenance of the building. As for why, it all comes down to the way in which rundown and generally tatty buildings tend to be strong signs of a landlord that is either lazy or really doesn’t care at all about his or her tenants. Things may be acceptable for the time being, but what about the months to come when something goes wrong and they need to be called in to help? If they can’t be bothered to look after their own property, chances are they won’t be inclined to put in any effort for you either.
Little to No Feedback or References
Just as your landlords will no doubt request references from you before accepting you as a tenant, you should look for the same verification from them. Assuming that this is not the first time they have let the property out, they should be able to put you in touch with at least one other prior tenant in order for you to ask a few questions about them. Most landlords with a good track record will be more than happy to oblige, whereas those that are not exactly proud of their past performance will no doubt make it difficult for you to receive any real feedback.
Contracts Appear Convoluted
Last but not least, while it is extremely rare to come across a landlord who deliberately attempts to deceive and mislead tenants by way of contractual clauses and complex terms, it is not uncommon to find a contract that favours the landlords over the tenants with severe imbalance. Without the help of an agency you will be on your own when it comes to reading the contract in full and making sure that you understand every single word of it. Nevertheless, there is really no excuse for contracts that are too long, too complicated or in any way penned in a manner that gives no thoughtful consideration to the tenant.