Renting a shared house or flat is a quintessential part of the student experience. It should be fun, safe and create no more problems than arguing other who’s turn it is to do the dishes.  However all too often students and young people have poor renting experiences and problems that arise are often things that can be prevented. 

Follow our seven step guide to renting heaven.

One: Know who your landlord is.

You should know who your landlord is, the owner of the property; as well as who you will be dealing with on a day to day basis. They might not be the same people. Have you met them and are you confident you can communicate with them, even if things go wrong?

Two: Know who is holding your deposit.

Find out who you will be handling your deposit to, will they be responsible for protecting it or will it be passed onto someone else to protect. Which Government scheme will be used to protect your deposit?

Three: Don’t sign anything too early.

Landlords will be keen to secure tenants for the next academic year and will but pressure on you to sign up, there’s plenty of rental property in Newcastle so you don’t need to worry. Be sure you are happy with the landlord, the property, the rent and your housemates before you commit.

Four: Be sure about who you are sharing with.

Sharing a house is a great way to save money and can be fun but be confident that you can get along with house mates for a whole year; even when things go wrong or get stressful. If you fall out with your housemates you are still committed to the tenancy.

Five: Read your tenancy agreement.

Most tenancy agreements are pretty standard and a landlord can’t write a term into the agreement that removes your rights and expect it to be legal but it is important to understand what you are agreeing to. Is the tenancy just for you or are you jointly liable with your housemates? What is the length of the agreement?, Who maintains the garden?

Six: Make sure you get, and agree with, an inventory (schedule of condition).

The inventory (schedule of condition) should reflect the contents and condition of the property at the start of the tenancy. Take some time to go over the inventory and list any points you do not agree with, sign this and return it to the landlord 9keeping a copy) with the first week of your tenancy.

Seven: Keep everything in writing.

It just helps with any problems or disputes. Keep emails and text messages even after the tenancy has ended until you get your deposit back and you are happy with everything.