Students who do not manage to get accommodated in the dorm have to look for reliable and cozy private accommodation. Since the majority of students have never been tenants before, there is a high probability that they will make a wrong decision. This is why we have prepared a concise but informative guide for freshmen, to help them find the right place for their needs.
Where to search for rentals? This is the crucial step in finding the right apartment for a student. The most logical step is to search the web and go through the ads placed on different real estate websites. Those ads usually come with photos and detailed property descriptions, so they are real time savers for students. However, if you do not manage to find anything satisfying, you could also try with classified ads in local newspapers. Although such ads provide less information than web ads, they are still a reasonable option.
Finally, if nothing works and you cannot stay with your relatives anymore, go directly to one of the real estate agencies and ask them to find a place for you. Bear in mind, however, that their mediating services always include a commission, too, and always inquire in advance about their percentage.
Current tenants as sources There is hardly anyone who can explain you the benefits and drawbacks of a rental property than the current tenant. This is why you should talk to them and maybe even invite them to have a cup of coffee, so as to learn as much as possible about the property, the neighborhood and the tenant. If somebody is moving out, there has to be a good reason for that.
You definitely do not want to move again after a month or two, due to a weird landlord or terrible neighbors. Here it would be wise to go through your checklist (see the last paragraph) with those leaving tenant(s) and maybe find out more about the place than the landlord would say.
Hygiene standards You have to be sure that the place you would like to rent is hygienically cleaned and maintained in accordance with the rental standards set by the housing authorities. However, regulations are often blurred and they can be interpreted in different ways. Therefore, before you sign the rental agreement, make a deal regarding the pest control and other obligations in terms of the hygiene of the rental property.
Have a look at the rules set by the Australian Government here, to find out more about your options during the negotiations with your landlord. In addition, if you want to reduce the probability that you will have vermin and pests in your new place, skip older housing units and give advantage to new buildings and houses. Check out these student accommodation facilities in Brisbane to see what I’m talking about.
What to bring for inspection? When you have found a few potential candidates for your student home, you should make a list of things that you have to carry with you during the inspection of those places. Firstly, you should bring a camera, i.e. your smartphone, to take some photos of your potential rentals. It will be easier to bring the verdict on your own if you have photos at your disposal. Secondly, bring your own property-viewing checklist, so as to be sure that you will take a good look at all the critical spots of all the potential rentals.
Moreover, make a list of questions and feel free to ask any question that bothers you. The landlord is the service provider here and they have to give you the answers to all your inquiries. Finally, do not make any hasty decisions, but visit all the potential properties, let the impressions rest for a bit and then choose your new student home.
While going for an imperfect but affordable place is so typical for freshmen, we hope our instructions will help you get a fine deal for your student place. Stick to your preferences, do not fall for agents' tricks and you will find a place that will make you feel cozy and comfortable during your college years.