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5 things not to worry about yet & other housing advice

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5 Things you don't need to think (or be worried) about just yet:

  1. Signing for a tenancy before Christmas. 
  2. Making decisions about housing in term one for the following academic year.
  3. Properties running out (in Newcastle, this does not happen!).
  4. Deciding if you want to share, and who with. 
  5. How to look.

 

SAC Housing Adviser Tips:

  • Do your research & read our 2020 Housing Guide.
  • Think about what type of accommodation you would prefer (pages 6, 10-11 of the housing guide compares some of the different types).
  • Be realistic about your budget (including your deposit, rent payments and other costs such as bills), then stick to it! (you might find pages 7-8 of our housing guide useful.)
  • Consider your circumstances. How confident are you that your circumstances wont change before you come to take up the tenancy? (common examples are studying abroad, deferring your studies, or your finances changing.)
  • Think about whether you want to share, and if so, consider how long you have known them and whether you trust them yet (if you're not 100% sure, remember you can wait)
  • View several properties with different letting agencies for comparison don’t settle with the 1st property or letting agency you see.
  • Ask who is going to be managing the property.
  • Make positive and negative notes at each viewing so you don’t forget. 
  • Remember that once you’ve paid the Holding Deposit you are legally committed to that Tenancy. 
  • Only pay the ‘ Holding Deposit’ once you’ve been given the Tenancy Agreement to read.  
  • Your Holding Deposit secures the property but it can only be equal to one weeks rent.  
  • Before signing a joint tenancy consider if you (and your guarantors) are willing to pay if your flatmate defaults? 
  • Try to speak to current tenants if possible.
  • Don’t bow to peer pressure, do what’s right for you.
  • Prepare for house hunting by speaking to the dedicated Housing Advisers in the SU Student Advice Centre and ask for a contract review before paying your holding deposit. 
  • Make sure you have an eligible guarantor by asking the letting agencies what their requirements are before you pay or agree to anything. 
  • Be careful about requests to pay deposits in another currency. This could be to avoid legal deposit protection requirements.  If you do pay in another currency, ensure you ask for the GBP conversion rate on the date of payment and then make sure this amount is protected.  

 

You have the Right to:

  • Be treated fairly and without aggressive practice. 
  • Be given a tenancy agreement written in plain intelligible English. 
  • See an Energy Performance Certificate before you commit to the tenancy. (we know this might sound boring, but this will impact how much you pay for bills. And we all want to do our bit for the planet, right?)
  • Not be pressured, harassed or intimidated into making decisions. 
  • Not be charged prohibited fees
  • Exercise your Consumer Rights. 
  • Be provided with the landlords name and either theirs or their agents address.   
  • A Rent Repayment Order if your landlord fails to obtain an HMO licence when it is required 
  • Make a complaint against an Agent via the Independent Redress scheme Ombudsman 
  • Be given a copy of the Gas Safety Certificate and the Electrical Safety Inspection Record before you move in. 
  • Be given an evidenced explanation at the end of your tenancy, as to why your deposit is being deducted. 
  • Challenge deposit deductions (in most cases) through the protection schemes. 

 

 

Steps you can take when you want to start looking:

NUSU Student Advice Centre is here all year to help you.

  1. Download our brand new 2020 Housing Guide containing useful information for when you're Looking for, Living in, & Leaving accommodation. So it should be useful all year.
  2. Take a look at our housing pages if you haven't already.
  3. Book an appointment if you have any further queries (we know our booking form seems long, but it's the quickest way to book in with us, as it gives us all the information we need from you).

 

Think you know enough about housing? Check out NUSU's Instagram stories on the 19 / 26 October and 2 November where we'll be taking over.

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