Living in halls helped you find your tribe amongst a sea of new faces and it’s been a great introduction to the independence of living away from your childhood home. Shared living is the next exciting step but finding the right place to live can be daunting. Follow our steps to help you on your way.

Step 1: Decide Who You Want to Live With.

Think about how many people you want to live with, the gender mix and the personality combination of reliable people you can trust.

Larger groups provide a busier vibe and more people to share the costs. Smaller groups are more relaxed and often provide more space per person.  Many people find that a mixed group of boys and girls works best.

Step 2: Establish Your Budget

Work out the maximum you can pay as a group and remember to include money for bills.

Don’t panic about the prospect of paying bills. Whilst it can seem daunting, it does mean greater control on what you pay, allowing you to make savings and ultimately reduce your outgoings.

Step 3: Decide Where You Want to Live

Do you want to live near to where you study or near to your social life?

It can pay to be flexible on location, especially in a small city such as Norwich where nothing is too far away. This gives you more scope to prioritise other factors on your housing wishlist.

Step 4: Get Your Wishlist in Order

With any house you ever live in, you will almost certainly have to compromise on something. List out everything you’d like in the perfect house and for each one ask, ‘would we pay more for this?’. Reduce your list as much as you can to give you the widest choice of homes.

Step 5: Shop Around

Walk around the areas you are interested in and spot potential houses to look at. Speak to your friends, landlords, letting agents and your university housing support. Once you start finding properties, always book viewings and always see more than one property.

When viewing:

  • Speak to the current tenants to find out what it’s like to live there, what the landlord is like and how much they paid for bills.
  • Speak to the landlord or agent to find out exactly what’s included, who is responsible for what and what happens if something goes wrong.
  • Look at things such as size of communal areas against the number of housemates.

Step 6: Read the Small Print

Once you’ve found the house for you, you will need to pay a deposit and sign a tenancy agreement.

A deposit is normally equivalent to 6 weeks rent. It is still your money and you should get it back when you move out if there is no damage or rent owed. Make sure the agent or landlord is part of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS), a government approved scheme to protect you and the money you have paid.

Your tenancy agreement can look like pages of gobbledegook, set out to trap you. In fact, it’s there to protect everyone including you. Make sure you read it. Then read it again and get someone else to have a look too. Universities often offer free services to look over your tenancy agreement.

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Prolet Student Homes have helped thousands of students make the transition from living in halls to living in a shared home. If you are thinking of making the move and need advice or have questions, however trivial they feel speak to one of the team on 01603 763363.

If you are looking for student properties in the Norwich area, take a look at Prolet Student Homes.

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