8 tips for students looking for a flat to rent

23/08/2017 10:15 h

Ajuntament de Barcelona

 

September is coming and that means lots of students will be starting classes. If you’re one of them and you’re looking for accommodation for the coming academic year, here are 8 very useful tips for finding a rented flat.

 

Plan ahead

At the start of the year there are thousands of students like you who are also looking for a flat. Try to plan ahead and find the best opportunities during the summer months.

 

Decide on your budget

Knowing how much money you want to pay will help you to be more effective, because you won’t waste time on flats that are beyond your means. You should include living expenses (water, electricity, internet), food and transport.

 

Compare

Websites, estate agents, noticeboards, residencies, university accommodation pools, people you know, etc. There are lots of ways to find available flats. The wider your search, the greater your chances of finding a good place.

 

Keep the location in mind

If you want to cut down on expenses and journey times, it’s a good idea to look for somewhere near where you study, or a place that has good public transport connections.

 

Read the contract carefully

Before signing, read the contract carefully and pay attention to the time period, inventory, how much leeway you have to make changes to the flat, the minimum period you have to stay, how much notice you need to give before leaving, and so on.

You should also look at the expenses included: communal expenses, property tax (IBI), etc. That way you’ll avoid future misunderstandings and problems with owners or flatmates.

 

Sharing to cut down on expenses

Most students share a flat to share the expenses. If this applies to you, you need to consider whether you are going to divide the rent equally or not, depending on each person’s room.

It’s also advisable to agree on the basic rules of sharing before your start living together, such as the cleaning rota.

 

Flat or room: pros and cons

You can rent a whole flat and look for some flatmates, or look for a room in a flat that is already being rented. The first option involves more formalities and responsibilities and you might also be asked for some financial guarantees, such as a surety. On the other hand, you can opt for certain subsidies and benefit from grants.

The second option, living in a flat that is already being rented, is easier to manage but it also means that you won’t enjoy the benefits of being named on the contract.

 

Check the state of the flat

When you enter the flat, check that the furniture, electrical appliances, etc., are in good working order. If there are any defects, it is advisable to take some photographs, and sign and date them with the owners. That way they won’t be able to ask you to pay for them when it is time for them to return the deposit.

Further information