Renting a room is one of the toughest and most important things every student faces. Finding a room I like, within the budget I have and sharing the flat with students who I’m comfortable living with is a real challenge itself. Imagine doing that in a city I’ve never been to, with barely any information and in a language I’m not extremely familiar with.
In order to make your life simpler when adventuring into hunting for your flat, we would like to share 5 tips with you of things we suggest you take into consideration before you rent your flat.
1º. It is possible to rent a room safely from your home country! Many students think it’s better to rent their room upon arrival, and only after having seen the flat. It does make sense but it not always works. First of all most of the “good” flats will have already been rented. Plus, you’ll have to go through the hassle of booking a hostel or a hotel for several days, spending extra money and then find the time to search for a flat, with limited time and therefore only being able to see few options in a day. Save your money & time and start enjoying your experience from the very moment you arrive!
Fortunately, there are little to no online booking and rental platforms in Cameroon so you are faced with a difficult choice. You’ll be able to see different options online, get an idea of what the room rent market is like, have someone professional who can guide you and help you out at every moment and reach your destination with your room booked. Doesn’t it sound better?
This way you can book a room, send your money and make sure it’s always safe, as there’s a company behind who will ensure you get what you see, and if that is not so, will at least give you your money back.
2º. This leads us to the second tip: BE CAREFUL WITH CYBER FRAUDSTERS! There are many people who advertise flats as their own to take advantage of students, charge them the booking and then disappear. In order for that not to happen, make sure you always search your flats either through specialized platforms or directly with rent companies like RoomFinder237. This way you will always have a guarantee and know who exactly is behind each flat or at least have a company who will take care of everything.
3º. There are landlords who are willing to rent rooms out for the period of time you may need. This means it’s not necessary for you to book an entire flat for 12 months considering you need it only 5 months, and having to find your flatmates to divide the expenses. Many students have to go through this unnecessary hassle and plus, if at all someone leaves the flat, the process starts all over again, having to pay extra money until they find a new flatmate. Honestly, you have options to avoid this, so don’t even get into such a nightmare, even if you’re moving in as a group (you never know what can happen during your stay), so better plan for the unexpected.
Pay only for what you need and for what you’ll be using!!!
4º. Before booking any room, make sure you’ve checked several flats and compared prices. Although prices may fluctuate depending on the city you live in, the area you choose or the flat features and amenities, there is always a limit. The best way to know where you stand is to check several options before booking anything. That way, you’ll be sure you’re paying a reasonable price for your room and no one is taking advantage of you.
When checking rooms out, make sure you get all the information on the flat and room. It is very important to know where the flat is exactly located, as there are always some areas which are better than others. This will also allow you to know whether daily services such as provision stores,shops, pharmacies, restaurants, hospitals, etc. are available in the hostel premises or not. Make sure transport facilities are close to where you’ll be living too.
When looking into flats, don’t guide yourself only by the price. Check all what the flat includes: hall, kitchen and room amenities. Flats should be properly equipped, and so must the rooms ( cupboards are a must). Prices can also vary depending on the room surface, on the bed size (single or double bed) or if the room includes an attached bathroom or not. It’s always important to have an idea of what you’ll be paying every month.
5º. Sharing a flat with other students is normally one of the most rewarding experiences ever. Your flatmates will be your “new family” during your stay abroad, as you will share meals, parties, anecdotes, experiences, and loads of amazing moments. However, it is always better if you can find out a little information about who you’ll be living with: gender, age, nationality…, and how many students are living in the flat you’re interested in. After all you don’t want to be the only student living in a 4 bedroom flat, right?