For thousands of students across the country, it’s one of the most stressful times of the year - time to find housing for the next academic year.
But what if you could avoid all the usual drama when it comes to house-hunting? Let our six top tips help you find the property of your dreams (on a student budget, of course).
1. Think carefully about you want to live with.
An obvious but very important piece of advice.
Your coursemate Becky may be an excellent source of drunken stories, but you probably won’t appreciate her quite so much when she’s noisily rolling in from another mid-week night out.
2. Decide the things you can’t (or won’t) compromise on.
If you cannot stand public transport, make sure you live within walking distance of campus (or find a housemate with a car). If you love to have a bath every evening, don’t sign for a house that only has showers.
But the easiest way to fall out with your future roomies is to be a diva about small things you don’t really care about.
So try your best to flexible.
3. Only look at accredited properties.
This is a seriously important one. By finding a property through an accreditation scheme, you are much less likely to be ripped off or find yourself living in a freezing, mouldy flat.
An accreditation scheme also offers you a complaint process if you struggle to solve an issue with your landlord.
While student housing charity Unipol runs a scheme in Bradford, Leeds and Nottingham, many student unions also have a similar system in place.
4. Don’t rush into anything.
Panic will inevitably grip you when people start posting photos on Instagram of their fab new houses when you haven’t found one, but try not to rush into anything.
The easiest way to spend a miserable year on the outskirts of town in a flat with a broken boiler and a cockroach problem is to sign for a house without doing the proper preparation and checks.
5. Talk to the current tenants.
Think you have found your dream house? Double check with the people who already live there - they will quickly be able to tell you if there are any major problems you haven’t spotted while looking round.
(Chatting also makes it way less awkward when you’re trooping through their house while they’re trying to watch TV.)
6. Make sure your deposit is covered by a scheme.
According to student housing charity Unipol, this is one of the most important stages of find a new house.
Most landlords will ask for a deposit before you move into their property, but it’s important that this money is protected by a tenancy deposit scheme.
With thanks to Unipol for help researching this article.