Finding a good place to live can be a tough task. There are lots of factors to consider in order to find the perfect flat or house, so we’ve written out this guide to help you make smart choices when it comes to your house hunting this year.
1. Living alone or with in shared accommodation
If you can afford to live alone, you in the very very small minority. For most students, living in groups is the only affordable way to go. Choose your roommates carefully, if you have the luxury of choosing, and always be open-minded…you never know when a good friend will turn into a total nightmare of a housemate, or when you’ll become best friends with a person you meet on move-in day. Later this week we’ll be posting about tips and tricks for picking your housemates, so look out for that post.
When choosing a flat or a house, it’s important to consider where you’ll be spending your time, which is likely school, work (if you have a job) and in shops/town. So be sure to find a place that is within walking distance to uni, shops for food and other necessities, and clubs/social life venues.
The bottom line is always budget. What can you afford? How much can your flatmates afford? Be sure to ask the landlord what’s included in the rent in terms of bills, etc. If you are paying bills and rent separately, try to ask the current residents or the landlord how much you can expect to pay in bills each month/term.
It’s also important to discuss with the landlord what kind of payment plan they operate with. Some landlords will let you pay term to term, others prefer month-to-month. Be sure to know what the expectations are before you sign the contract, so that you can budget accordingly. And if you are paying bills separately, ask when the bills are due as well.
Are there locks on the bedroom doors? Is the place in a good neighbourhood? Are the locks good on all the doors and windows? Do you feel safe there? The answer to these should be yes, or at least, mostly yes.
5. Car Parking
Do you or your future housemates have cars? If so, you’ll need to ask the landlord about parking arrangements, and whether the street or nearby carparks require you to get parking permits.
6. Furnishings and Appliances
Are the furnishings good quality? What’s included in each bedroom, in the living room, in the kitchen? Is there a washer/dryer? Is the furniture nice? Are you ok with single beds or do you want doubles
7. Length of contract
Before signing the contract, find out how long it lasts. Some contracts are 10 months (September to June), some are term-to-term (this is key for placement students), but the majority are 12-month contracts that run from September to the following August. So it’s important to consider where you’ll be in the summer months, and where you’ll be storing your stuff if you’re coming the following year.
Hopefully this helps sort out all the little details of finding a house! Keep this list in mind on your next property visit and you’ll be sure to make some smart choices for next year! And of course, if you haven’t checked out our properties yet, be sure to give them a look!
Categories: Student Relish