Going to university is an exciting time. This is the first time most will have lived away from home and it’s a chance to learn more than just the course. It’s an experience of the wider world outside the home, a chance to make new friends and of course (and most importantly) drink cheaply in the student bar!
Finding a place to live is the second item on the list after having got into university. This is where many have fallen down and learnt a disturbing lesson which is quite simple; some people are dishonest and will steal your money.
An increasing number of students have paid hefty deposits for houses that don’t even exist. When it gets close to the start of term and you’re looking for a move in date, the oh so friendly man who has taken a deposit from you for the surprisingly cheap flat in an excellent area has now disappeared along with your money. The real kick in the teeth is finding the money to get a new place to live.
Another common scam is for someone to rent a property themselves, put an advert on gumtree, actually show you the place pretending to be a landlord and lie to your face to extract cash. They do this as many times as possible and then run off with a number of deposits to a new house and start the scam again. Even if you do move into the house, there is no guarantee the money you pay goes to the real landlord which is often discovered as the bailiffs come to the door.
As the National Union of Students advise, there is only one sure way to avoid this, use a letting agent. Even more importantly than that, use a registered letting agent.
Homefinders offer students complete peace of mind. We are ARLA, Ombudsmanand London Landlord Accredited amongst others which offer you and your money protection. We have also gone one step further with our liability insurance so even if the worst happened and we closed up shop like some agents have in the past, your money is still protected. There is no other way you can be as safe as you could with us.
Once you have a roof over your head, you can move onto the third item on the list, the student bar…erm, library I mean!
Haydar Sehri's blog