The initial thought of living at university is daunting; having to live in halls with three or plus strangers, sharing a kitchen and living space all for the hefty price of what can be at least £120 a week (depending on the city). Then eventually you realise after a couple of weeks at university, it’s not that bad. Even though your flatmate in room B has stolen half of your mayonnaise, it starts to feel like home.
However, it isn’t long until first term is over and everyone is mentioning that you should start thinking about where you will be living during second year, and that’s when the real worrying should begin. Finding halls is easy, because they are all at the same level of mediocre, but play your cards wrong, and you can end up living up in a shared house with two strangers who haven’t learnt how to flush a toilet at the young age of 19.
So here are few steps you should follow to guarantee a decent house for next year:
Step One – Gather at least two friends together! This is necessary, as although you tell everyone you love your flatmates that you got stuck with this year, you know fully well you do not want to deal with living with a person who plays Drake – One Dance at 3AM on repeat ever again.
Step Two – Try different estate agents, don’t go to just one, try at least two or three. Each agency has different properties, this allows you to get a feel of what houses are on the market for students to rent, and see as many different types of houses as possible.
Step Three – Actually attend the viewings, I know that should be obvious and straightforward but there has been occasions where one person has been sent off to look at a house for five people – do you really trust one of your friends to decide where you place your collection of fairy lights and cacti?
Step Four – Take pictures of ALL the properties you look at! Although your mate says the wall was blue and you thought it was cream, it was actually mint green, and you will be having this debate for a couple of months until your contract starts. Also, it will help you decide later what property you liked the best, because everything looks different second time round.
Step Five – Ask as many questions as possible, like;
‘How much is rent a week?’
‘Who supplies the bills?’
‘How do we get in touch with the landlord if there is a problem?’
‘Where is the nearest takeaway?’
At the end of the day you will pay the estate agents anything from £50 to a £100 just to show you a couple of houses, so get your money’s worth!
Step Six – Once you have seen all the properties and your mate has reluctantly decided to take the small room for £5 cheaper rent a week, figure out what comes with the property. This is important, as some landlords provide small necessities like a kettle, toaster and microwave, where as some do not. Therefore, you are never too young to ask for a blender for your birthday – I’m sure your grandmother will understand.
These are just a couple of steps that could ensure you don’t max out your overdraft next year while have the best time at university. Rather than having to worry about the mould growing in the corner of the living room.
If you’ve found your perfect student house have a look at our decor tips and essentials for refreshing your new room.