What questions should I ask the landlord before signing a contract?

Foreign Students's picture

It's important that you discover from your landlord or university exactly what you are getting for your money. Ensure you find out:

  • How long is the accommodation available for? If you are doing a long course you may not want to move after your annual contract is up. 
  • Do you have to leave your accommodation during the holidays? Many universities make special arrangements for international students and will provide space for you to store your belongings if you have to move out. 
  • Are bills included in the price of rent? Is the room/flat furnished? You will usually be provided with a bed and cupboard, but be expected to bring your own kitchen utensils and bed sheets. 
  • How far is the walk to campus (if you are in private accommodation) and is the area safe? Remember, in the UK it gets dark early in the winter. 
  • How secure is your accommodation? If it's a private residence, is there an alarm?
    For apartment buildings, is access via a keycard only or can anybody walk in? 
  • Is there an area to store rubbish, and on what day is it collected? 
  • Is there public transport nearby? 
  • If you are staying in a building, is there a curfew?

If the landlord promises to make repairs when you view a house, ensure he puts this in writing. If there is a garden, find out who is responsible for its upkeep.