You have found your place of study in London. Are you now looking for somewhere to live?
GSM London takes your welfare seriously and have appointed a student accommodation officer, who is standing by to help you find suitable accommodation or help you with landlord issues.
If you are happy to source your own accommodation be wary of anything that sounds too good to be true and asks you to pay by Western Union. You may find your bank account empty and the property non-existent. Gumtree is also full of such adverts and should be treated with caution.
Living with a landlord
Living with a landlord can be a great experience as they are often supportive and flexible with living arrangements, so long as you show respect for their home. This type of tenancy is not secure and you can be asked to leave at short notice.
Sharing with other students
Sharing a property with fellow students on a single assured shorthold tenancy (AST), requires more maturity as in most cases you will also be responsible for a share of the utility bills as well as the rent. So budget accordingly. Tenancies are typically for 1 year with a break clause after six months. In this instance you have protected rights under the Housing Act 1988, as amended by the HA 1996. Deposits will also be protected by law, HA 2004, in one of the three Government backed schemes. Parental guarantors may be required too.
Many universities and colleges have access to halls of residence. This is something that GSM London is looking into for the future. In the meantime we have built relationships with local professional landlords within commuting distance of the college. They grant individual tenancies inclusive of all utilities, including Wi-Fi. Tenancies are again typically for one year with a break clause after six months. Their properties are well maintained and common parts, kitchens and bathrooms are professionally cleaned on a regular basis.
Wherever you live, expect to pay a deposit, which is refundable, so long as you cause no damage and your rent is up to date. Rents are typically paid monthly in advance. You may be required to provide references and a parental guarantor for some landlords.
To discuss your options in confidence and in more detail please contact email@example.com or call us on 020 8516 7800.
And remember if a property sounds too good to be true it probably is just that. So be careful out there and feel free to refer anything you find to the accommodation officer for a second opinion.