I’d like to welcome you to one of the best universities in the country and although you may have only just settled in Loughborough, when it comes to your second year, moving out of halls is an important part of student life.
As Chairman of the Loughborough Student Landlords Group I have written this article to help give prospective house-hunters some guidance for the journey ahead of signing-up for a home; I hope it will help get you thinking about who to live with and how to choose a landlord.
The move from campus to town
If you are planning to move-on from halls, then renting a shared property can be a great way of getting the most out of your time at university or college and for many it will be the first taste of real independence; but with independence comes responsibility.
If you follow a few simple rules your move from campus to town will be an enjoyable and rewarding experience.
Deciding who to live with
To avoid stress and heartache, when you are choosing who to live with, it’s worth considering the following:
· Differences in lifestyles can lead to tensions even if you’re living with your best mates. Compromise is vital for everyone’s sake, and sharing a house means sharing bills and housework as well as space.
· What are your priorities? Think about what are the most important traits in a housemate; is it someone who’s tidy, fun, a good cook or doing a similar course?
· How much privacy do you need? Some people will happily never close their bedroom door, whilst others really value their own space and possessions. By working this out before you move somewhere you can prevent a lot of tension.
· What are your bad habits? Everyone – including you – has different habits and tastes. You need to make sure you recognise this, and learn to be tolerant.
· Early bird or late owl? You might want to think about whether you mind what time people go to sleep and wake up as a factor in your compatibility as housemates.
· Be honest about your interests and what you want out of a housemate, it’s better to not live with a friend who’s not going to be a compatible housemate, then risk ruining a friendship
Choosing a landlord
Renting student accommodation can sometimes be a bit of a headache; even with the relatively recent introduction new pieces of legislation and tighter regulation, landlords range from rogues, to chance investors, to professional operators.
However, you can take the risk out of choosing your property by selecting a landlord that has been accredited through the East Midlands Landlord Accreditation Scheme (EMLAS); this is a voluntary scheme that has been recognised by Charnwood Borough Council and the University.
EMLAS accredits the landlord rather than the property and EMLAS staff carry out random property inspections to ensure that properties registered with the scheme meet the legal minimum requirements. At least 10% of properties are inspected when a landlord initially joins the scheme, though this figure can be far higher in some cases. Properties are then randomly sampled on an on-going basis to ensure that compliance is being maintained. EMLAS will also randomly sample tenants, usually through postal questionnaires, to establish whether or not their landlord continues to comply with the scheme's Code of Management.
Landlords that have come forward to join the scheme have done so on an entirely voluntary basis. They have joined the scheme because they believe they are the best in the business and can be relied upon to make your experience as a tenant as enjoyable as possible. See EMLAS website www.emlas.org.uk for more information.
I hope this article has helped to make you aware of some of the things you need to consider but if you would like any help or advice I would be more than happy to answer your queries; drop in at my office for a coffee at any time.
Andrew Chell can be contacted as follows:
Office: 66 Ashby Road, Loughborough LE11 3AE
Phone: 01509 552814
Mobile: 07769 684800
Biography of a student landlord
Andrew Chell is Chairman of the Loughborough Student Landlords Group and in 2007 was invited to become a member of the then newly formed Loughborough Campus and Community Liaison Group. There are some 30 members of the Group made up of representatives from: Loughborough University, Loughborough College, Loughborough Students’ Union, Charnwood Borough Council, Leicestershire County Council, Leicestershire Constabulary, Local Residents Groups and Landlords. The members of the Group participate in a quarterly forum within which matters relating to the presence of the University and College in the community can be discussed in an atmosphere of mutual trust and co-operation.
Andrew Chell is also an experienced landlord having been letting houses to students in Loughborough since the year 2000. During that time he has seen the introduction of many new pieces of legislation and major changes in both the type of accommodation on offer and the quality that is demanded by the market.