Whether you are moving out of campus accommodation or jumping straight into the realm of the student house share, it’s always a hard process to find the perfect fit when searching through the dozens of listings, doing the tours and maybe even speaking to possible future housemates. Even when you do think you have found the ideal house you can never guarantee that it will work out perfectly; you may have to contend with an unfair landlord, horrible housemates or even the creeping mould that may appear after you have already settled in. So, students, here are 5 tips to help you find the ideal student digs that will let you concentrate on all that playing and studying (procrastinating) without having a household worry.
Check Out the University Endorsed Housing
If your University has one (most do), this is a great first point of call if you’re feeling a bit out of depth on where to start looking. They would have nice range of accommodations on their books and all a stone’s throw from the Uni. You can guarantee they have reliable landlords and the service is usually free unlike Estate Agents, but it may not be the best place to go if you want to find a bargain, hidden gem or live in an area that isn’t full of students.
University Notice Boards and Social Network Forums
These boards are a great way to scratch those Estate Agent fees and also, because they are advertised by students sticking with the property, you can usually guarantee that it is a cosy dwelling and has a friendly landlord. Alternatively, and especially if you have not started University yet, there are tons of forums and groups on social networking sites (From Gumtree to Facebook) specifically dedicated to university and area specific student accommodations. These online networks are a good way to not only find a reliable tenancy but also to ask all those little questions you need to know before going to check it out.
Ask Those Questions
When you go visit a house for a tour, make sure to ask those really important questions that may not seem so significant on the surface. So, alongside those vital questions of bills, deposits etc., ask whether there have been any issues in the past year and how long they took to be resolved; can you leave storage over the summer, and even ask about the neighbours – are they student friendly or annoyingly loud students?
As important as it is to find the perfect house and landlord, most accommodations will be a house share with bills being shared and communal kitchen, so making sure you are living with reliable and kind housemates is always a must. Try to get to know who you are living but if you don’t have a choice and will be moving in with strangers, take time to chat and get to know them as much as the house when you go for a look around. No early bird wants to be stuck in a house full of ravers and no raver wants to be in a house full early birds!
If you have tried the other methods and still nothing, it is worth going with an Estate Agency, but make sure you do not stick to just one. Many agencies in the area will have completely different properties on their books, so keep your options open.