My Rent My Rights is a campaign led by Vanessa Wilson, Student Living Officer to increase your awareness of your rights as tenants. Here are some top tips for finding the ideal student house for you.
Tip 1: Know what you want
Decide on who you want to live with, and remember the people who you meet in the first few weeks of term aren’t necessarily going to make the best housemates.
Once you’re happy with who you’re living with – it’s time to decide on some of the big stuff. What’s your budget? Where in Bristol do you want to live? You might be someone who is willing to commute, or you might want to maximise sleep and live really close to your lecture theatre. You should also want to think about what the deal breakers are for you, but what you are prepared to compromise on.
Tip 2: Don’t Rush
It can feel like you have to make a decision immediately but remember that there are going to be houses available next summer so there’s no need to rush. Bristol SU Lettings also release properties throughout the year.
You can also get your contract checked by the accommodation office for free – so make use of this service before you sign!
Tip 3: Always come to viewings prepared
Go with someone you know, take a checklist with you and don’t part with any money or sign anything until you’ve seen the property.
Tip 4: Know what your rights and responsibilities are
Before you sign, get any promises and agreements in writing. Make sure your deposit is protected in a deposit scheme within 30 days of paying it. Make sure you’re comfortable with any guarantor agreement and agree the inventory of included items and furniture (take pictures of any damage!).
You’re responsible for checking the fire and smoke alarms work after you move in. You should allow your landlord access to fit or repair smoke alarms.
Tip 5: Check out the My Rent My Rights booklet
All of this information and more can be found in the My Rent My Rights booklet – available around the SU or online.
You can find out more information about the My Rent My Rights campaign at www.bristolsu.org.uk/myrentmyrights
Featured Image: Bristol SU