Perspective is a difficult thing to obtain as a student – as there’s often just so much going on, as well as all the pressures of study, and a life beyond graduation seems like light years away. However, it comes to us all at some point or other and your student years can do a lot more for you than you think, particularly when it comes to renting.
A landlord reference. Be a good student tenant and you’ll get a decent reference from your landlord. This might not seem particularly important but when you’re about to start a new job and you need somewhere to live you’ll realise that this is an essential element in getting your name on the tenancy agreement. If you’ve rented at university and you can’t get a reference then that’s a disadvantage, especially given how competitive the rentals market is in cities like London.
Your credit history. There are many factors that could impact on your credit report as a result of renting at university. Perhaps the biggest factor is that you’ll have credit for the first time in the form of accounts with energy companies and mobile phone providers (and perhaps credit card providers too). Get your name on a household bill and then pay it on time and you will start to build a positive credit score that could help you later on when you want to get a mortgage.
The Rental Exchange. The Rental Exchange is a partnership between credit scoring agency Experian and the Big Issue that could help you build up a good credit record simply by paying your rent. The scheme proposes observing rental payments made in the same way as mortgage payments are currently used to show good standing and a credit worthy individual. So, your student house rental payments could well be the starting point for buying your dream house ten years down the line – don’t miss them.
Administration. Reading the small print and following the rules are dull but we all have to do it. Start by reading and understanding your tenancy agreement – one of the most complex legal documents many of us will have to deal with at any point our lives – and you’re off to a flying start. It means you’ll always know where you stand as a tenant when you graduate and you’ll be used to making sure you understand your legal rights and responsibilities.
Living with other people. Some of life’s most valuable experiences re taught during student renting days. Handling splitting bills, cleaning schedules and looking after a property are key to renting experiences once you graduate and also to managing living on your own if that’s what you choose to do. The social side of shared living spaces – dealing with other people’s irritating habits, learning how to manage arguments and gaining experience in standing up for yourself without getting angry or aggressive can also prove very useful in a relationship context too.