There’s no rush
You may be told otherwise but, there are plenty of student houses to rent in Chester – more than enough for the number of students. It’s more important to look when you are sure who you want to share with and to wait until you find the right house.
Look at lots of different houses
Look at more than one property with different agencies/landlords to see what you get for your money. Remember that the agent is employed by the landlord and gets paid when they find tenants – look for professional behaviour from the agents and don’t feel pressured into making a decision, handing over money or signing up.
Think long term
If you sign for a house now, you will be living with these housemates for quite a few months.
If looking in a group
Make decisions together everyone should see the house, agree on location and a ‘wish list’.
How much will you have to pay now?
When you find a house to rent, you will pay agency fees (unless you are dealing with landlord direct), a deposit and/or a month’s rent now, even if your tenancy doesn’t start for months. Do you have the money to pay for this now, or would it be better to look later in the academic year? When you pay money, get a receipt.
Is your deposit protected?
Your landlord or agent must protect your deposit within 30 days of you paying it. There are strict laws about this. If you haven’t had details within 30 days of how your deposit has been protected, seek advice (see below).
Beware of promises
If the landlord/agent makes any promises eg about redecoration, new furniture or anything else, make sure it is written into the contract. If the promises are not met, you may still have to stay at the property.
Tenancy documents are legal contracts
They are normally for a fixed length of time and cannot be ended early. If a group of you sign one contract, you are all personally responsible for the rent and condition of the whole property
Free, independent and confidential advice is available at the Students’ Union.