a year ago
Looking for your perfect student accommodation can be incredibly stressful. As a penny-pinching student, you can’t be too picky, but you don’t want to lock yourself into a dingy, run-down flat either. To keep the process of house-hunting (relatively) stress-free, follow these 8 essential tips!
1. Think fast. Act fast.
When it comes to accommodation-hunting, it pays to be prepared. As the academic year comes to an end, floods of students will race to secure a flat for the coming year.
It’s a vicious battle and if you snooze, you lose.
Start searching a couple of months before your lease ends. Set up alerts for relevant properties and ask your friends to let you know if anything crops us.
If you find a place you like, be quick to register a note of interest. If you take even an extra day to mull it over, you risk losing out.
2. Surf the web
Keep your search wide and make use of multiple property rental websites.
Combine the forces of generic sites and student-specific ones. Look for letting agency listings as well as individual landlords.
Your university might hold a list of accredited landlords to reach out to and some offer services to connect students looking for spare rooms.
Cast a wide net and you’ll find your perfect accommodation quickly and easily!
3. Money, money, moneeeeey!
Your absolute perfect flat is probably out of your price range. On your student budget, there is no way you will bag a city centre studio with ensuite bathroom and modern integrated kitchen that’s ten metres from campus, shops, clubs, and transport links.
Sit down and calculate your average monthly incoming and outgoing expenditure. Be honest and set a maximum price point.
Use price filters on rental sites to scope out what you can get for your money and weigh up what is and isn’t a good deal.
Whilst that studio space sounds amazing, it’s not going to be fun when you’re scraping together pennies at the end of the month for food.
4. Location is key
Picking a location that is well-suited to your needs is essential for making the most of your university experience. Camping out in a cheaper flat 3 miles from campus will be a downer when you have a 9am lecture or when your friends coordinate a last-minute night out.
To pinpoint your ideal location, think about the following:
Answer these questions and you’ll be on a smooth path to picking the perfect flat.
5. Avoid the nasties
Flat viewings give you the opportunity to compare the pretty pictures online with reality. Keep your eyes peeled for nasties that might be lurking.
Search high and low for damp, mould, and pests. Take a peek in the kitchen cupboards, at the communal bin area, and inspect the bathroom ventilation.
If the current tenants are present, ask them if they’ve had any issues. They’re moving out soon, so they’re likely, to be honest!
6. Can you sleep safe and sound?
Having a place to rest your head without fear of theft or hostility is critical. If you don’t feel safe, you’ll lose countless nights of sleep and your anxiety will skyrocket, potentially causing your grades and social life to suffer.
When you’re looking at a property, check what security measures are in place.
Knowing what to look for at viewings will help you pick the right property. Don’t lock yourself into a contract in a dirt and pest-infested flat!
Is there a functioning burglary system? How secure are the locks to access the building? Is there staff on the premises?
Don’t settle for sketchy security arrangements or you’ll spend the duration of your contract worrying.
7. Spacious haven?
Lots of properties have cupboards that masquerade as bedrooms. Think about how much space you realistically need.
Does the bedroom have room for you to set up a study space or are you forced to spread textbooks all across your bed?
Will you need to share a room with someone else? Is there a common bathroom or will you get an ensuite?
Is there space for you to keep all your course materials, sports gear, clothes and trinkets without feeling claustrophobic?
Think about what matters to you most in terms of space and remember that you can make use of long-term student storage units to keep your excess belongings.
8. What’s included?
The advertised monthly price of a property can cover more than just the rent, but this isn’t standard for all flats.
Some properties have the bills included in the price. This can make things less stressful for you, relieving you of the worry of monitoring standing orders to different companies.
With some flats, the cost might include access to communal facilities like a gym, cinema room, or laundry room. Decide whether these are must-haves or whether you’d like to opt for a cheaper property without these luxuries.
A cheap price might indicate that the property is unfurnished. If this is the case, is this a problem for you? How much would it cost you to splash out on a couch, dining table, bed, and desk? Does the total cost make the reduced rent worth it?
Sign on the dotted line!
These essential tips will guide you straight to your student perfect accommodation. Gather all your documentation, get your deposit in place, and you’re free to sign that contract!
Now all the stress is over, you’ve got a fun-filled year of flat parties, movie nights, and late-night study sessions to look forward to. Have a blast!
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