When you set about tracking down the very best student accommodation St Andrews has to offer, you basically have two choices. The first and most obvious choice is that of taking the DIY approach to accommodation hunting, and the second is that of looking to a professional online student accommodation agency to help you out.
Now, the fact that the help of the professionals is these days more often than not handed out completely free of charge would have you think that nobody takes the manual approach any more. On the contrary however, vast swathes of the student population each year insist on carving their own path in terms of accommodation hunting and selection, effectively robbing themselves of the benefits of the professional touch.
But when all is said and done, is it really a big deal? And if it is, why exactly do the professionals insist it really isn’t a good idea to go ahead and seek out properties solo without the help of the experts?
1 – Poor Choice of Properties
Well, right off the bat there’s the way in which those who do not search for properties by way of online property agencies face the prospect of a vastly smaller database of available accommodation choices. The reason being that it’s becoming the norm for building owners and landlords to list their properties primarily or exclusively via online agencies.As such, chances are there will always be a fair few properties listed and advertised by other means, but when it comes to the lion’s share of properties on the market for students, the numbers by way of online agencies are vastly superior.
2 – Poor Quality Properties
And it’s not just the quantity of properties that should be considered either – quality is also an enormous factor. Now, this isn’t to say that quality properties absolutely cannot be found without turning to the online experts, but what it does mean is that the chances of lumping yourself with a genuinely bum property fall practically to zero when working with the professionals. This is because in the case of a good agency, all properties listed will have to some extent been verified and vetted in order to ensure there are no glaring problems with them. When you seek out and book properties alone however, you are on your own when it comes to carrying out such checks.
3 – Excessive Deposits
It’s hardly rare for the landlords of student properties to ask for pretty sizable deposits, but there is of course a very fine and important line between a fair deposit and a deposit that is totally OTT. When you search for and organise your accommodation manually, the problem is you have absolutely no go-between to ensure that the landlord doesn’t take advantage when it comes to deposits…or when it comes to rents, for that matter. More often than not, huge deposits are a sign of a landlord that either doesn’t trust students for whatever the reason or one that doesn’t mind ripping people off. In either case, these are the landlords you really don’t want to be dealing with and therefore should probably think about speaking to a professional agency in order to avoid such scenarios.
4 – Convoluted Contracts
It is of crucial importance to never, ever under any circumstances lose sight of just how important the contract itself is. You sign the contract and you instantly and in a legally-binding manner agree to everything it contains. If your landlord has decided to make it needlessly complicated and convoluted in a manner which serves their own purposes and benefits over and above your own, it’s up to you to identify and question this. Which is of course nigh-on impossible if you want to speed up with the ins and outs of housing contracts and tenancy agreements, which is precisely why you may want to consider searching and booking with the help of an online student accommodation agency.
5 – No Help Where Needed
Last but not least, chances are there will come at least one or two times further down the line when there is some kind of problem or concern you need to address. If you’re lucky enough to have a fantastic landlord, this probably won’t prove to be a problem for you. If however you have one of the many, many landlords up and down the United Kingdom who really don’t give a damn once the contract is signed, you’ll be crying out for an independent and professional third party who could and would have stepped in to help. Suffice to say, this represents another benefit of working with a student accommodation agency and giving the DIY option a miss.