As students, you’ve already chosen the perfect college for study. Your next decision to ace? – choosing where to live.
Leaving the comfort of your own bubble and renting a house can be an eerie commitment for students. From a multimillion penthouse to Harry Potter’s room under the stairs, choosing the right place for renting is exciting but you do want to avoid the pitfalls of an unpleasant student accommodation. For many students, especially first-timers, renting a house is a struggle. In fact, the last thing you want is to be renting a house with a dodgy environment and living with housemates who do not pay their rent or bills.
1. You must live in a well-maintained house
First, get a true picture of what it is like to live in the property. It is crucial that you carefully view your future student house because you will be spending a lot of time there. Take a long checklist when you go for a house viewing. Note down your preferred criteria such as the cleanliness, the security, facilities, and noise. Check the power points to ensure enough power supply, same goes to taps to see if it has good water pressure. Also, take notes on aspects like a cracked window, missing tiles, and broken doors. On the other hand, you can try to establish connections from the current or previous tenants for the best reference of a house. It is great to know if the landlord has been responsive to requests or reports for repairs. This will give you some idea of the person that you are dealing with.
2. Work out your budget
Furthermore, try to negotiate! You can always try to negotiate the rental price down with the landlord. Students think they have no option but to pay up – which they eventually did. There is no reason you should be paying a higher rent if the area or the house doesn’t look like the way it is being advertised. Besides that, always ask the landlord what will be the deposit to avoid unexpected upfront costs.
READ: Rent on a budget!
3. You should have your security and utility deposit ready!
You would need to pay the deposit upon signing the tenancy agreement. A deposit is a preliminary money required by landlords or hosts. It is to cover the damage if the tenant withdraws or destroys any facility of the rented house. It is usually a 2-month rent plus utilities and the money will be returned to you at the end of the rental period if the property is returned in the same condition when you first moved in.
4. Remember, do read the tenancy agreement!
Please read and go through the tenancy agreement before signing it. All names occupying the house will be held on the agreement. Parents or guardians also will be asked to act as guarantors and accept financial and legal responsibilities. Apart from that, check if there is a break clause in the agreement as this allows either party to give a month’s or two months’ notice to end the tenancy after a specific period. The agreement should be stamped by the Inland Revenue Department (LHDN) by paying the stamp duty Also, don’t forget to read the small print.
5. It is time to move in and split up responsibilities!
Most people would not think of this, but take pictures of the house and its content upon moving in. This is to protect your deposit in case there is a dispute over the return of your money. Make sure everything, yes, everything is photographed. From whether the shower heads are attached to whether the blinds are lifting. You should create an inventory to record everything that is provided in the house. If you share a house with other housemates, all of you share responsibilities for the rent. Therefore, this could be a touchy subject. Make sure everyone is responsible for paying the electricity, water bills, and internet. And hey, don’t let dopey housemates get away from responsibilities!
Finally, now it’s your turn to secure your perfect house and your rental agreement. It need not be a stressful process if these few sensible steps are followed. Renting a house could be a brilliant experience!
ALSO READ: 7 potong steam moments when renting a home