Date Published 12 March 2016
For students looking to move into private rented accommodation for the first time, the experience can often seem daunting. By doing some research and preparation beforehand, you can make the process much more straightforward.
Do Your Research
Make sure you rent from a reputable estate agent and landlord, as it's not unheard of for students to have issues with landlords refusing to pay bills or make essential repairs. You can ask your university or students union for a list of tried and tested estate agents if you are unsure.
Ask questions, speak to your course mates, pester your friends, visit student noticeboards and dip into social media for hints and tips on popular locations. It's also worth searching on portals where you can find and speak to local agents, who are experts in their fields. Students already in their second or third years are a great source of knowledge because they have already been through the process.
Setting Your Budget
Depending on your budget, some options might not be available to you, there are lots of hidden accommodation costs such as TV license, broadband and the Central Heating to consider.
When you are living with a group of friends, make sure you all have a prearranged budget for bills, food and anything else you will want to share to avoid any awkward conversations and save yourself a lot of money.
Choose Your Housemates Wisely
Quite possibly the most important accommodation related decision you make is going to be who you want to live with!
It is important to ensure your housemates are not only good friends of yours who you can see yourself being comfortable living with, but also the sort of people who are going to want house rules similar to the ones you live by!
No matter how perfect a house is, if it's miles away from your university campus it's going to significantly hinder your morning commute, and in turn dampen your whole university experience. Endeavour to find somewhere suited to your needs and also near a bus stop or within walking distance of campus if possible.
However, if money is tight, living somewhere further from university will save you money; just make sure there are good transport links enabling you to get to lectures on time.
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