What’s it really like to be a student in Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle has a well-deserved reputation as a great place to live, work and visit. Its range of attractions, its growing reputation as a centre of excellence for science and technology, and its popularity as a great place for entertainment have proven to be a magnet for visitors and those seeking a career in the area. The city has also seen a huge growth in student numbers as both of its universities celebrate continued success and further growth. Whilst the majority of first year students are accommodated in purpose-built halls of residence, increasing numbers have meant that many of them have to seek private rented accommodation. Although most of them will have a good experience when doing this, we still hear of many cases where students have had their fingers well and truly burned by unscrupulous landlords and sadly, in some cases, letting agents. Don’t let that put you off though – we would always recommend that when seeking accommodation you do so through a reputable agent. This will give you much better protection than going directly through an unregulated landlord. Always ensure that the agent is registered with a regulatory body such as the Property Redress Scheme (PRS). At Clarke Holland we work with a wide range of landlords, ensuring that the properties they let are of sound quality and good value. We also ensure that costs are minimised and that deposits are protected. Many of the properties we let are also available without any agency fees – a real bonus! If you are living in private accommodation now, which you organised through a letting agent, then here is something to watch out for. If you haven’t been contacted by them already, then you can probably expect to do so very soon. Having already taken fees from you, they will most likely ask you if you want to extend your stay beyond the end of your current tenancy, telling you that if you don’t confirm very soon you will be unlikely to secure a property for September. They will then take ANOTHER fee from you to arrange this. This type of scaremongering is not uncommon, and is a practice which we condemn – students have enough to worry about, without worrying whether they will have a roof over their heads.