Things to think about when finding housing
Whilst at university, it’s easy to get caught up living in the moment and taking each day as it comes. Every year at uni flies by, but no year more so than first year. It is therefore important that by the time the summer term ends, you have all the arrangements in place for your return to uni after the summer break. Of all things that you need to sort out, your housing arrangement is by far the most important. In this blog I will outline my top 5 tips to consider when looking to find housing next year.
Tip 1: Get in early My first, and most important tip, is to get in early when searching for housing. Students in every year besides their final year will need accommodation on their return after summer. Therefore with such high demand it is important to get in ahead of the competition and start your house hunt early. Towards the end of January is a good time to start looking, with lots of housing coming to the market in this period. Ideally you want to have housing sorted and contracts signed before the Easter holiday. Anything after this and your options will be severely limited.
Tip 2: View properties This may sound like a given, but viewing the property before you sign for it and not just relying on photos is vital. Many times I have viewed a property only for it to not appear like the photos online at all – the equivalent to a housing catfish!! It is important to get a feel for the property, speak to current tenants and meet the landlord before you sign for the property, all of which is not possible online. Viewing the property before you move in also allows you and your friends to allocate rooms in advance too!
Tip 3: Consider costing Before signing for a property, it is a good idea to do your research and find out how much you should and could be paying for a property in your area. There are lots of landlords out there who claim to be student friendly but will actually charge you a massive overhead cost to handle all your bills as part of your rent. For a little inconvenience you could sort all your bills yourself for a lot less and save a lot on rent. Unfortunately it seems that lots of landlords are out to get students wherever they can, so help yourself out and do your research first before you jump into anything.
Tip 4: Live with people you like Although you have to start deciding on housing after what feels like no time at all, try to make sure the people that you choose to live with are ones that you get along with. It is easy to feel pressured to say you’ll live with certain people but this never ends well in the long run. Living independently as a group brings its own challenges and responsibilities so it helps when you get on with those around you.