As summer approaches, you may be thinking about sorting out next year’s accommodation with your uni friends, or you may be looking for a flat for your first year at university.
With plenty of horror stories circulating about student accommodation, from rats in cupboards to mold growing on the walls, you may be slightly daunted by the thought of this task.
However, with a few simple steps, there’s no reason why you can’t find the ultimate accommodation for the year ahead.
When you’re living off-campus, you’ll want to ensure you can get to each and every lecture without too much trouble. After all, we all know how hard those 9 AM starts can be!
Look for properties that are near to your university so you can perhaps get around by foot or bike. Or consider properties that are further afield (and perhaps cheaper) but that are near bus stops.
One of the most important things about your accommodation will be the fact you can have a decent internet connection there. Without it, projects, essays and dissertations are going to be a bit of a task, as are staying connected with family and friends and watching your favorite programs.
While the majority of houses will come with good internet connections, it is worth checking you can get the speed you want in that particular area before you go ahead.
- Paperwork and Legalities
You will also want to look into what fees and requirements the estate agent or landlord has when it comes to renting a property. Most will charge an admin fee for processing your rental agreement and will have a bond that you’ll get back at the end of the year (if everything’s as it should be).
Be sure to look around for agents with lower fees while also looking at the small print as to what your tenancy agreement includes. For example, many will want you to have tenants’ liability insurance from companies like HomeLet and some may have specific requests for your home, e.g. additional fees for pets, no smoking policies, no candles, and so on.
It’s also really important you feel safe in the area you’re going to be living in. While a property may be significantly cheaper than others, there could be a reason for it. Therefore, if you’re not familiar with the location, be sure to do your research to see what the crime rates are and so on. Visit the area at numerous times throughout the day to get a feel for the it, too.
You might also want to ask the landlord or letting agent what security systems are in place, if any.
Finally, what communal facilities does your accommodation offer? Most purpose-built student accommodation will offer communal areas for you to socialize and make new friends. Have a look around to see if there’s everything you need, including the laundry room, kitchen, living area and so on.
Making all these checks in your search for your next student digs will help ensure next year is a great experience for all the right reasons.