Students Staff

11 December 2018

Choosing your next home

Filed under: News — Heather Leathley @ 12.39 pm

Looking for private accommodation after your first year at University, can be daunting. Graduate Lucy Totman shares her experience.

Lucy Totman

How did you start looking for private accommodation?

We looked up various letting agents and read their reviews so as to get the best option.

How did you choose who you would live with?

This was easy! Unlike others who choose to move in with those they have already lived with, I decided to move in with my friends from my course.

What were the must-haves?

Good WiFi for those coursework deadlines and Netflix binges, a good number of bathrooms so we weren’t fighting over them before lectures (one bathroom: two people worked well) and a decent sized kitchen are a must! A good communal area is also good for house bonding.

  • What would be your top tip for house hunting?
  • Don’t go with the first one you see, even if you are in panic mode!
  • Have a list of questions you want to ask – for both current residents and for the landlord or letting agent
  • Have a look at the government website for renters. This will give you clues to things such as House of Multiple Occupation (HMO) and gas certificates and what a landlord can and can’t do
  • Make sure there are no hidden fees to catch yourself out
  • Always look on the outside of your house – spot a crack? This might mean internal damage leading to mould or drafts!
  • You take the time to research for your coursework or exams, do the same for a place you’ll be living in for the next year or two!

How did you set up house rules?

Before we moved in, and then as you go along. It’s a cliché but house meetings are always key for a smooth ride.

Are there any rules that are essential in your eyes?

How long it’s acceptable to leave dishes on the side for.

What would you do differently if you did it again?

Be more thorough when looking round houses.  It’s easy to worry that you’re impinging on other people’s personal space when a house is lived in, but other people’s worldly possessions can hide potential flaws which only come to light after you’ve signed a contract.

What is the biggest difference between living on Campus and living off Campus?

Not being able to roll out of bed and be in your lecture in 10 minutes! That along with learning the rubbish collection rotas…

What’s the best thing about having your own place?

The space to yourself.

And the worst?

Paying your own bills. Glide is a really useful service for splitting bills fairly among housemates.





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