You have done it!

You have survived nearly 14 years of primary and secondary education and have the certificates to prove it!! Your mum or dad are now doing a treasure hunt, to seek out pots and pans that you will never use at uni or college, in celebration.

If you are dismissing the halls and seeking accommodation with your mates remember that, yes, proximity to the chip shop is a very important factor in saying “aye” to the student house but equally have a think about:

Can I afford the rent?

Can I tolerate the “eejits” I’m renting with for a whole year?

When does the tenancy start and end?

Is it one tenancy or separate tenancies for each of us? Separate tenancies if negotiable would be preferable.

Is there a smoke alarm or fire extinguisher? Trust me at some point these will be needed and are very much a legal requirement. Likewise smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms. Insist that these are fitted. Remember your parents had a vested interest in your safety whilst you were living at home – your house mates after a couple months of living with you may not. Keep yourself right, or KYR, and make sure these are in your student house.

Take photographs of the house and most definitely any damage to the property before you sign anything and email them to the estate agent before entering a tenancy. Point out damp and mould.

Given the price of iPhones, smartphones and laptops etc ask for locks for each room so that your insurance will cover you in the event of theft.

If you are happy and are one hundred percent sure you don’t want to stay at home and travel…….

Make sure your tenancy agreement has all your landlords details

That your deposit is protected in a tenancy deposit scheme.

Make sure there is a list of contents attached to the tenancy agreement.

Make sure rates are included in the rent and check that the Rates Office have all the documents from the landlord they need so that you are not liable for rates in the event of the landlord defaulting.

Make sure you know the termination period for ending the tenancy.

Make sure you know and fully understand your obligations under the tenancy – failure to do so could leave you without a deposit.

If the property has a HMO certificate please pop into see us as tenants in a house with a HMO have different obligations to non HMO tenants. Likewise if your parent is being asked to present themselves as a guarantor please make an appointment so that they known the ramifications before signing.

Check out what insurance your landlord has.

Above all remember if you do not understand what you are being asked to sign DO NOT SIGN without chatting to us first no matter how “sound” the estate agent or how big your room is going to be.

Enjoy this week!

Big congratulations again on all your hard work and for all the mummies and daddies “whose nerves were wrecked” over the summer!

Patrick Park Solicitors

In the heart of Lurgan



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