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5 Tips for Your First Rental

by Carla-Mari Moore

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Are you studying next year and need to find your own place? For your first rental, here  re some tips to remember.

Matric students everywhere are making that last push to knuckle down, study hard and survive their end year final exams; to come out on the other side and enjoy a long, well deserved holiday after! However, this all too quickly comes to an end. Students and parents wake up to the stressor that is Varsity Accommodation. This leads to the inevitable last minute scramble to find your first rental – a flat , student diggs or a last minute space somewhere in an old lady’s backyard granny flat.

Here are some tips to consider if you’re looking to rent the perfect place when you start studying next year.

1. Finding your first rental

This is the first and most daunting task of all as you ask the question: where and how do I go about finding something that’s right for me that I can actually afford? This issue alone causes some premature grey hairs as you tirelessly search through dodgy adverts online in the hopes of anything that appears even remotely acceptable for you to live in.

There are some key issues here to consider:

  • You want your first rental to be a place that’s affordable and won’t have you eating 2 Minute noodles 28 days of the month due to high living costs!
  • You want a place that you actually like living in, not some musty old dump that comes with some free vermin crawling out at night.
  • You also do not want to get saddled with a flat that’s older than you are and is going to cause you some added stress as pipes leak or burst in the bathroom every few months…

Here are some tips to achieve this:

  • Work with a letting agency who will not only find you the perfect place to suit every single one of your requirements, but will also provide all documents for you, run property checks with you when you visit potential places, and will also see that all maintenance issues are taken care of for you.
  • Rental agencies provide accommodation listings for students as well as a hands-on management service for landlords. They know their stuff and will be able to give you exactly what you need at the price you can afford.

2. Deposits

There are so many landlords out there who will, unfortunately, try to squeeze as much out of you as possible, whether it’s your first time renting or not. Ask for a break down of every cent that you have to pay before moving in. You need to know what the rent is every month, whether or not you are paying for pre-paid electricity or if you will receive a monthly bill and whether there were any damages made to the place before your arrival as you don’t want to pay for those too!

There are so often all these sneaky little add-ons that we are charged for and we simply pay them, without even questioning it. Don’t let this happen. Make sure of all your facts before you cross your t’s and dot your i’s on that lease agreement.

3. Rent with the right crowd

The idea of living with your best friend may seem like the ultimate life after high school, but be wary of this as there is quite a vast difference between sleep overs and living together. When you live with someone, you share your space. Your home is their home and this can have a severe impact on your studies.

If your best friend is a party animal with no intention of taking their studies seriously you should consider finding someone who suits your schedule and is at Varsity to study. Issues that may seem silly now, such as smoking, having a pet, someone who is super messy or partying every night, can greatly impact your studies and University experience. Keep this in mind when selecting your new “roomy.”

4. Safety and security away from home

The concern around safety has become a biggie. Ensure that the flat, communal house or apartment has burglar bars or a safety gate at least. This is your first time away from home, as an independent adult, and your safety should not have to be an issue.

If your potential new diggs is in a bit of a rundown area, please think twice before you make that move. This is not only for the girls, but for the guys too, as it is essential to ensure that the place you live in is safe and secure so that you may be too.

If you’re worried about your safety on and off campus here are some safety tips for you.

5. Talk to your neighbours

Before signing on that dotted line, have a chat to those living in your building. Say hi to a person walking by or strike up a conversation with the first person you see, if needed. Ask them what it’s like to live there and if they’ve had a good experience. You’re more likely to hear good news than bad, but if there is some reason to be wary of renting somewhere, I’m sure you’d prefer to find out now rather than later! Knowing what you’re in for is the best way to ensure you have a positive experience.

We hope these 5 tips will provide you with some good guidelines to making the right choice when it comes to your first home away from home and that your time at University is nothing but awesome!

EduConnect 2cents

When you’re moving away from home it can be quite frightening and completely out of your comfort zone. Just remember that in the end everything works out just fine and it’s all about the experience. To ease your nerves a bit, read this article to get some tips on moving away from home. Remember if ever you’re feeling overwhelmed by your new experiences, go out and chat to someone. Seek help and remember it’s quite an exciting time for you, so enjoy it as much as you can![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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