Written by Alice Warburton
It’s that time of the year again: students rush out in great panic, signing contracts here there and everywhere to secure their dream home for the next year. How do you know who the best estate agents are? Where they operate? If they’re trustworthy? I’m going to list three main agencies below to help get your search started, along with some top tips – contact details will be listed at the end. Please do remember though that every student experience will be different, and so you should go for the one that you feel most comfortable with.
Westmanor Student Living
Available on London Road and Grange Lane, this estate agent is one to remember due to the variety of properties they offer both in the city centre and near the university. Last year they received 99% positive feedback on all their properties and housed one thousand eight hundred students. Popular properties from them include the brand-new build Queen Elizabeth Apartments on Queens Road, and Lillie House, above Tesco Supermarket next to the train station on London Road. Of course, ‘Miss Rona’ is still a large issue for everyone (Great news, a vaccine!), and you can view Westmanor’s answers to questions on this subject here: https://www.westmanorstudentliving.co.uk/coronavirus/.
This estate agent has been around since 1986 and boasts key properties next to Leicester University; their office is based in Hinckley road, a short uber away from the university. Key areas they operate in include Clarendon Park and Knighton, whilst also offering well-kept properties in Evington for cheaper rents. This agent is endorsed by SAFE AGENT and are regulated by The National Approved Letting Scheme and The Property Ombudsman. In my second year of university I did rent a house with this company and found them to be good at dealing with maintenance issues, however, please do remember that all experiences will be different!
Belvoir Lettings and Estate Agents Leicester
This estate agent is one of a chain of one hundred and sixty and depending on your view this could be a great benefit according to expertise! They offer a range of properties in areas such as Clarendon Park, Stoneygate and Leicester City Centre, and they have won four prestigious awards in the last two years. They are members of ARLA Propertymark to meet high industry standards, and they use a Client Money Protection Scheme for extra safety. This estate agents also have a FAQ page to answer any niggling worries: https://www.belvoir.co.uk/pages/leicester-central-branch-student-faqs
Top Tips for Finding a House
· Don’t rush! You might feel like you have to find a house immediately, but this isn’t the case. Taking it slow is the best approach to find the best house for you, and there are houses available after Christmas.
· Make sure your deposit is under a TPD: Tenancy Deposit Scheme. This is for your protection!
· Always always always read your contract. Get someone else to check it too! You have to know what you’re signing.
· Make sure the house you pick is the best one for you. Don’t pick it just because it’s down the road from your friends, as you will be living there all year and must make sure it suits you.
· Ask about whether bills are included, and when your tenancy starts and ends. This is important information which could help save you money in the long run. Happy hunting!
Useful Information: https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/coronavirus-student-accommodation/ – a link to the Government’s website regarding student housing with Coronavirus. https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/housing/renting-a-home/student-housing/students-in-private-rented-accommodation/ – this also gives great advice about a range of things e.g. council tax for students
Westmanor Student Living – 58 London Road, Leicester, LE2 0QD:
· 0116 225 3505
36 Grange Lane, Leicester, LE2 7EH:
· 0116 254 0541
Priya Properties – 78 Hinckley Road Leicester LE3 0RD
· 0116 255 9950
· Submit an online enquiry form at https://priyaproperties.co.uk/contact-us/
Belvoir Leicester – 105 Queens Road, Leicester, LE2 1TT
· 0116 366 6333
Alice Warburton is a final year English student from South Shields. She acts as Chief Editor for Opinion, and also works as a Residential Adviser for city living. You can find her on instagram here: @alicewarburton27