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Don't Rent Yet

Don't sign up for next year's housing too soon!

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Aerial view of houses, with a magnifying glass

 

Save the Date!

Keele SU will be holding a Housing Fair on Tuesday 1st February 2022, where you can meet local accredited landlords to talk about their properties and arrange viewings.

We don’t need to tell you that things in life can change quickly and that our best made plans can change! We also know you have enough to think about without worrying about where you are going to live next year. A tenancy is likely to be one of the most expensive purchases you ever make, think very carefully about whether it is right for you and whether you need to sign up now.

It is a myth that all the best properties will be gone if you don’t sign up before Christmas – you don’t need to even start looking for housing for next year until the end of January at the earliest. Don’t let any landlords or agents convince you that there is a shortage of properties in the local area - there isn’t! In fact, there is a surplus of accommodation and students are still finding properties in August.

 

Students who sign up to off-campus housing too soon can experience problems that include:

 

Finding a more suitable place or leaving university before your tenancy starts

Tenancy agreements are legally binding agreements, meaning you usually have to pay the rent for the whole length of the contract even if you change your mind before you've moved in. We’ve seen many students who didn’t realise this and have signed up for one property then later signed up for another that they preferred, finding themselves legally bound to pay rent twice.

 

Changing friendships

The students who you were closest to in the first few months of your time at Keele may not be your friends by the end of the year and you could regret agreeing to live with them. Also, no one has taken and passed any exams yet, so how do you really know who will be here to move in with you next year?

Bear in mind that if you sign up for a joint tenancy you’ll all be responsible for each other’s rent so make sure you fully understand your responsibilities and are comfortable entering into this form of contract with each other. The total household rent could be around £15-20,000 for the year - you would normally take a lot of time to think about it before spending this much money on anything else!

 

Rushing into signing a contract without properly checking the condition of the property or the contract terms

It is important that you follow some simple steps to avoid repeating the same mistakes that other students have made; this can take some time but is well worth it. Visit our Tenancy Agreement page for advice on what should/shouldn't be in your contract. We can also check your tenancy agreement before you sign it, to make sure there are no issues with the terms and explain anything you don’t understand.

 

Being unable to afford the full cost of living there

Take the time to make sure you can really afford the cost of living in that property. If it's more than you can afford you may fall into debt and rent arrears, which can affect your studies and mental health and may even have a long-term impact on your future. Consider the total cost of rent, bills, and travel – some properties may be more expensive at first but come with bills included up to a certain amount; others might initially seem cheap but the cost of getting from there to campus could exceed your budget.

Our Bills page has a guide to living costs.

 

If you do still want to sign now then contact ASK on su.ask@keele.ac.uk for advice on your tenancy agreement. We also strongly recommend that students only sign contracts with landlords who are registered with the local councils' Landlord Accreditation Scheme.

For more housing information, including house hunting tips, visit ASK's Housing section.