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7 Questions to Ask a Private Landlord if you're Looking for a Student Home

Students will - at a minimum - have to move 2 times during their university life. Once into halls of residence, and then once again into a private rented home after your first year. After that you can chose to move again, and even again if your course is longer than three years. Most student homes are advertised through estate agents, but some will just be advertised by their landlords. If you've found a potential student home through a private landlord, here are a few questions to be sure to ask them before deciding to rent the property:1.    How much is rent?This is, of course, an obvious question to ask but still some forget it nonetheless. Some rent is quantified in weeks, some months, some in quarters.2.    How much is the deposit?Most student deposits amount to one and half months’ rent. If it's any more than that, be sure to ask why it is that much more. Deposits will be the largest sum you'll have to pay when it comes to renting, so be sure to know how much it is before you decide on getting the house. You must also be sure to ask when they will need the deposit by. If you decide to take the house, but do not pay the deposit quickly enough, then the house could be rented out to someone else. 3) Are there are any other fees?If you find a student home through an estate agent, chances are you'll have to pay a couple hundred pounds in fees. This might also be the case for renting through a private landlord, but many will not charge you any fees on top. If you are working to a budget, then be sure to find a house that is not asking for anything other than rent and a deposit.4.    How much are bills each month?Other than rent, the most costly part of living in the big wide world is bills. Some rent fees include bills, but most don't. If you've found a house that fits into your monthly budget, you must be sure to take into account how much bills will be each month. The landlord won't know exactly, but can probably give you a rough estimate to help you make a more informed decision.5.    Is the deposit in a scheme?A deposit scheme is a way to protect your deposit from any landlord that is trying to exploit you for extra cash that you do not owe. It is of vital importance to have your deposit in a deposit scheme, or you could lose money that is rightfully yours. Most private landlords will have their properties enrolled in such a scheme, but if they don't be wary of them.6. How much on average did they deduct from the deposit from previous tenants?If their answer is “usually half” then run away – chances are the previous tenants did not warrant having that much taken out of their deposit and it was just at the whim of this very strict landlord.7.    Will they be managing the house?If the landlord is the only one that has access to the house and something breaks and they are not around then you could be left weeks without a functioning stove or shower, for example. It is right to get reassurances from the landlord that if something breaks, they'll be around swiftly to fix it, or someone they have hired will be swiftly round. Going months without hot water, for example, will be no fun for anyone and if you haven't got reassurances, the only way to settle such a dispute of neglect is through the courts.