Good Afternoon Readers,
Today’s article is all about finding a student house and paying rent – which at some point, the majority of us have to do! Oppose to those living at home throughout university. For those of us who move out, firstly, you have halls, but this article is for those who have to look for a student house whether that be in the first year, second year or third year!
I began looking for a student house near the end of my First Year in preparation for my Second Year and I immediately turned to ‘Rightmove’ and not just the normal Rightmove. Believe it or not, they have a whole website dedicated to students looking for houses! Fantastic, right?
When approaching the ‘house search’, I did not really have an idea where to start. I was just blindly looking at houses and prices… also being drawn in by the pictures (which I shouldn’t have been) and going from there. So, what changed? Nothing much to be honest!
Long story short, myself and my friends found our house… and then later we found another! So, here are some tips about house hunting:
- Get some options!
When looking, look everywhere! In most cities where they are universities, they are specific student letting agents and 99.9% of them will have a website, so get looking! Search for ‘student housing’ and add your city to the end and go from there, and like I said, Rightmove is always a place to look! Get yourself a little folder with a good amount of houses that you can look at!
- Don’t rely on pictures!
Pictures can look all well and good, but sometimes, they are not an accurate depiction of what the house and it’s rooms can look like. Therefore, you need to book viewings! It does not matter how many you book, book lots and have a look around – then when you are there, take your own pictures! You’ll be surprised what you find. The nicest pictures can turn out to be the most horrible of houses and the pictures that do not make it look nice can turn out to be horrible! This is why house viewings are important!
- All bills included!
This is not something you need to 100% look for, however, from personal experience, I’d suggest it. Both of the houses I’ve been in, all the bills have been included and it makes everything so much easier! Knowing you only have to pay rent and everything is included in that makes life so much easier. There are houses where you pay rent and then bills are included on top of those and you usually pay it all around the same time, however, complications can arise in this way! This is why I suggest going all bills included!
- Ask questions!
When you go to house viewings, ask questions! Ask about rent, ask about room size, if everybody pays the same for the rooms, how long is the contract, is there anything that is not allowed, what is allowed and so on and so fourth! Know your stuff!
When going into a house share, an argument over rooms can occur and fall outs with your friends can be the result. It sounds silly, but it is true. When coming across a house, it’s important not to have a preference on a room. The fairest way to choose rooms is to flip a coin or pick straws – whatever you’ve got to do to fairly pick a room. Avoid fall outs at all times (especially before you’ve moved in).
- Understand your contract!
It’s easy to get excited about getting a house, but it’s easy to overlook the contract and skip straight to signing it. Yes, I’ve done this. READ your contract and understand what you are signing on for. The term of the contract, what you are responsible for and so on and so fourth. Do not sign until everybody is confident they understand what they are signing. If you are confused by something, ask the landlord/letting agent!
- Be happy with your house!
Make sure you aren’t settling for something you aren’t happy with! It’s meant to be a home away from home! Be comfortable and make sure you feel at home there. Maybe you need to choose a different area, a different kind of house – it could be anything, but be certain!
Know when you have to pay your rent and make sure you can! Normally, with student houses, you can pay termly (like halls) or monthly. With termly, it’s pretty much as soon as your student finance comes in and you can pay out for a set amount of months and then not have to worry about it. Monthly – well, that’s self-explanatory! If you are struggling with money, talk to your landlord. You can be able to work out a different payment scheme with them that suits you!
- Know your landlord!
With student houses, sometimes you’ll never see the landlord. They will own a few different student houses and leave it all down to the letting agent, therefore, know your letting agent! If you do get to talk to your landlord, be friendly, be kind and look after the house. Don’t be afraid to talk to them. They will respect you and be a lot more inclined to help you if you actually talk to them! I’ve done this with my past two landlords and they’ve been overly helpful!
These are just some of the tips I can offer you from my own personal experience!
Good luck with your own house hunting!