I was a university student for four years so I think I have a fairly good idea of tips and tricks about finding the ideal student house. Below is a little checklist of things to bear in mind when looking and signing for your student house.
- Make sure you are 100% happy with who you are choosing to live with. Most people live with friends when they move out of student halls and into private rented accommodation, however going from being friends to roommates is a big step; for many this works well however it is worth considering factors such as personalities (do they clash?) and uni timetables (you don’t want to feel like you are going to be missing out, are there other friends who are on the same course or have a similar timetable to you who you might prefer to live with). There is nothing wrong with being great friends with someone but not wanting to live together.
- Make sure you factor in letting agent fees when you look at your budget, although this is a one-off fee it is usually over £100 (sometimes quite a bit more) and you will normally be asked to provide a month’s rent up front as a deposit before moving in. Both worth keeping in mind.
- When you look at properties and if the current tenants are in, it is worth subtly asking how they find it, how the landlord is, have they had any problems etc? You are likely to get the truth from fellow students. You can also find out what an average gas/electric/water bill is for the property, for your own budgeting.
- Ensure you know what appliances/furniture is included in your rent when you find the property you want, there is nothing worse than moving in and realising that the appliances out on show were the previous tenants and you have to go out and buy a kettle, toaster etc.
- Take photos of the property and each room on moving in and out day. That way if there are any issues that become apparent on departure you can look back at photos from when you moved in to see if they were there before or not.
- If you do have any problems your university will usually have a telephone number for housing advice and they will be able to help you out or point you in the direction of someone who can.
- When you move in it is important to remember those around you. We were always really lucky and got along with our neighbours who were a mix of students and non-students. People always put a note through the door if there was going to be a big party and that way you know any extra noise is usually a one-off. Having friendly neighbours/being a friendly neighbour is always a help and a great way of making more friends!
Happy house hunting! Feel free to leave a comment or tweet me if you want any more advice on the matter.