It’s not just students, being a first time tenant is no bread and butter. For the case of students it’s made even worse by the fact that you are still young and unable to make a few decisions on your own. Add that to the inevitable standoffs between tenants, agents and landlords and the troubles associated with being a tenant could become unbearable at times.
However, it is possible to avoid the glaring pitfalls. Here are 8 practical tips for students on how to rent your first room.
1. Don’t splash the cash- if you are living with housemates, you will probably share the rent amongst yourselves. Never act the breadwinner; if the total rent is $300 and you will be living with 2 other roommates then the amount has to be divided equally amongst the 3 of you so that everyone pays $100 per month
2. Is your deposit safe? – renting an apartment will require that you pay a deposit along with the first month’s rent. First, ensure that the deposit too is shared equally among all the roommates. Secondly, demand some evidence (receipt] as an acknowledgement of the payment.
3. Keep good inventory- every item provided by the ownership of the house has to be taken good care of These utilities vary from one landlord to another but generally revolve around basics such as furniture, curtains, cutlery and appliances among others. Make sure that you keep a good inventory of these items indicating their conditions at the time of entry. Have the inventory signed by an independent witness and send a copy to your landlord.
4. Beware, the landlord will conduct a few checks from time to time- you should be aware of the checks that are usually conducted by landlords from time to time. These are routine practices and as long as you are given a 24 hour notice you should not resist them in any way.
5. Ensure the safety of your belongings- student tenants are very much exposed to theft of property. Always close the doors and windows when going out of the house. Remember that you cannot blame your landlord for such losses.
6. Take note of your bills- take note of all the bills on your head at the end of the month. If you pay for things like electricity and water separately, ensure that you include that in your monthly budget. 7. Are you living with housemates? Know your rights- roommates can be a source of trouble unless you know what is required of each one of you. 1. Joint tenancy means that you share liability for any damages .2 You have equal rights to remain in the property meaning that you cannot force one of you out 8. When you have to leave, take your deposit with you- many don’t have to be reminded to pick their deposits when leaving but there have been cases of tenants who left without the deposit. The deposit rightly belongs to you and you have all the rights to demand for it
Sometimes it’s never as smooth as it may be made to look. Just make sure that you are getting the basics right. You can always talk to mum and dad whenever you get stuck