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student453
19-01-2009, 18:05 PM
Myself and 5 others are planning to rent a student house for the next acedemic year. The house is a good house but in its current state, I would not like to live there. The landlord showed us around and described all of the work that he plans to carry out. He also showed us around a house that has previously been renovated. It is quite a substantial ammount of work to be done in the alloted 2 month period but will make a lovely student property. I have confidence that he will be true to his word but I don't want to end up with him just adding a lick of paint and calling it refurbishment. What do you suggest I do/require before I sign the contract?
Thanks for reading :)

mind the gap
19-01-2009, 18:27 PM
Myself and 5 others are planning to rent a student house for the next acedemic year. The house is a good house but in its current state, I would not like to live there. The landlord showed us around and described all of the work that he plans to carry out. He also showed us around a house that has previously been renovated. It is quite a substantial ammount of work to be done in the alloted 2 month period but will make a lovely student property. I have confidence that he will be true to his word but I don't want to end up with him just adding a lick of paint and calling it refurbishment. What do you suggest I do/require before I sign the contract?
Thanks for reading :)

It depend how desperate you all are to live there, really. It sounds as if he is planning on doing all the work as soon as the current tenants move out - is that right? If the house needs a major re-fit (new kitchen & bathroom, re-wiring, re-plumbing, anything structural, then I would say 2 months is optimistic. It is possible to achieve a lot in a property in 2 months, but only if you have a dedicated team of tradesmen who don't keep swanning off to other jobs in between. If you can tell us what needs doing, exactly, we will perhaps be able to be more help as to how realistic it is in the time.

You could insist that the necessary re-furbishments are conditions of the tenancy agreement, in other words, unless he does them before the start date of the tenancy, you will not be bound by it. However...if he doesn't manage it, what would you do? It might be very hard to find somewhere else at that late stage.

My gut instinct is to walk away and find somewhere else now, and save youreselves the stress of wondering whether he'll be true to his word or not. Having said that, renovating our first student house was a race against time and we appreciated the fact that the group of 6 stayed 'loyal' even when the place looked like a bomb-site. And newly renovated houses are lovely to live in (assuming they have been well renovated!)

What's the market like - are there lots of student properties in your town/city? What's the appeal of this particular one?

student453
19-01-2009, 19:16 PM
Main improvements would be; knocking down a wall between two rooms to completely refit a new kitchen, building a new wall to create a untility room, separating two rooms into one, the rest is just; recarpeting, new fire doors, general refurbishment of the rooms, polyfill and paint etc.

The market here is silly, there is a huge early rush to get a nice house with a lack of student accomodation probably being the cause. My problem is convincing everyone else to be a little more cautious! :) My other housemate who agrees with me and so making life for me a little difficult.

mind the gap
19-01-2009, 19:31 PM
Main improvements would be; knocking down a wall between two rooms to completely refit a new kitchen, building a new wall to create a untility room, separating two rooms into one, the rest is just; recarpeting, new fire doors, general refurbishment of the rooms, polyfill and paint etc.

The market here is silly, there is a huge early rush to get a nice house with a lack of student accomodation probably being the cause. My problem is convincing everyone else to be a little more cautious! :) My other housemate who agrees with me and so making life for me a little difficult.

I think 2 months is optimistic, personally, for that amount of work. There'll be a fair bit of muck and rubble to be shifted, plumbing work, joinery work, electrical work and new plastering to be done, plus complete deep clean and re-decorating.

Walk away, is my advice, unless you want to move into a building site. There will be other properties - the letting agents in some university towns seem to specialise in whipping students in to a frenzy ridiculously early so they think they will be homeless if they aren't signing up at Christmas.

Perhaps look round seriously at other props and only sign up with the renovation job place if you really cannot find anywhere else that you like in a couple of weeks?

It's up to you - good luck with whatever you decide to do! Where are you, out of interest?

student453
19-01-2009, 19:34 PM
Exeter, if it were my decision, I would probably do as you suggest. But its a joint decision and one in which people are being quite narrow minded! :)
Is there nothing we can get him to put in a contract?

mind the gap
19-01-2009, 19:40 PM
Exeter, if it were my decision, I would probably do as you suggest. But its a joint decision and one in which people are being quite narrow minded! :)
Is there nothing we can get him to put in a contract?

Yes. Read my post #2, parag 2.

student453
19-01-2009, 19:56 PM
ah yes, I was trying to suggest this to the other guys I will be renting with but they didn't want to seem too pushy, I'll try again tomorrow