Female Student.





Housing advice





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If you decide to share you student accommodation with some one else be assertive with potential sharers and when meeting owners, their agents or representatives. Say clearly what you want. Visit the area you intend to live in before you sign an agreement and think how safe you would feel there. (specially after dark). When meeting owners or visiting an area after dark make sure that you are accompanied by a friend.

Look at the property very carefully and pay special attention to the security of the property as a whole. Tell the owner about any unsafe issues of the property and remember that it is also important to the owner to ensure that the property is secure. When viewing a property try to visit when the current tenants are at home, they will tell you if they have experienced any difficulties and whether they fell the area is safe.  


To share a property with friends (or not)                                            

If you decide to share a property it is very important to be clear before you sign a contract about your own needs and requirements and those of your fellow sharers. You should each try drawing up a list of priorities and compare lists, e.g. .....  bedroom size, close to university, bills, etc

How safe would you feel about sharing with each individual member of your group and if there are any men in your group ask to be given first choice of the upper floor rooms.

Try to meet and chat with all the members of the group if you are the last member to join the group, do not sign without meeting all the members.


Property check                                                                           

Make sure you are accompanied. Never arrange to meet someone you do not know very well at a property by yourself. Ask the owner about arrangements and those of any agents (e.g. maintenance) for visiting and entering the property . This should be stated in the agreement.

Find out from landlord if anyone else has keys to the property.

    Check the property for the following:-
    There are good locks on all external doors, Best locks have a British Standard 'kite mark'. please note for insurance purposes you may need to have at least five lever locks.  
    The doors are of solid construction and would prevent easy access by an intruder.
    The are window locks on ground floor and accessible upper floor windows.
    Security chains are fitted. (make sure they can be easily opened from the inside in an emergency)
    There is a phone or one can be installed that is not for incoming calls only
    The curtains are not see- through, especially at night when there is a light on in the room.
    The Bath room windows do not contain clear glass. (they should be frosted glass)

All  gas appliances in the property have been checked recently by a CORGI registered person. Their should be a certificate to clarify this.

Make sure the property is fitted with smoke alarms and fitted with a new battery.


Living alone                                                                                

Avoid basement type or ground floor accommodations especially in older properties. If the house contains other flats or bed sits try to find out who else lives in the house. Does anyone else has keys or access to the house and if so, when and why might they enter it?

In winter it gets dark early, so how safe do you think you will feel in your home when it is dark outside? check to see if their is enough and adequate lighting on communal stairs and landings.

If not fitted ask the landlord to see if he/she can fit you a security alarm system. if you are not sure about the area be very careful about signing any property that has not fitted a security alarm.



Always consider the location of the property very carefully before signing any agreement. Visit the area beforehand, after dark if possible, make sure you are accompanied, and check the following:-

How far is it to the nearest bus-stop, shops etc and what is the route to each place like?
Is the property set back from the road?
How much street lighting is there nearby?
Is there an outside security light,  if yes, does it work?
Is the property surrounded by bushes/shrubs  i.e. a place where someone could hide?
Check back garden to see that their is no ladder or some thing else that some one could use to clime in.
Is there a dark alleyway up to the door way and/or is the main entrance via the rear of the house. if so , ask yourself how safe is it and would you feel comfortable during dark night. 

If possible talk to the current tenants and ask them (particularly female tenants) what the area is like and how they feel about living there.


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