NEVER sign a contract or other documents without reading and understanding what you are agreeing to. It is likely that you will be entering a legally binding contract if you sign which will be very difficult to get out of later.
IF you are unsure about any written document you are being asked to sign, ask for at least 24 hours to take it away and read it carefully before signing. Get advice from the Centre on anything you dont understand.
ALWAYS get receipts for the money you pay for your accommodation. Get separate ones for rent and deposit.
ALWAYS ensure that all of the tenants have a copy of the housing contract and keep your copy safe. You will need it later if you have a problem with your landlord.
ALWAYS make sure that you get the contact details of your landlord including their address; you may need to write to them formally at a later date.
CHECK that you will be safe in the property you are living in or about to agree to in the event of a fire. Ensure that there is a clear fire exit, smoke alarms are fitted and work and there is a current gas safety certificate in place.
BURGLARIES are common in student houses because valuable equipment is often present and in a large number. For example in a five-bed house, there may be five laptops, five iPods and five televisions.
ALWAYS get insurance to cover your possessions they are worth more than you think!
IN CONCLUSION, you do have rights whether you live in halls or in a private house. Always take precautions to protect yourself if something goes wrong. The Centre is here to advise and help; use us if you need to.