1. Choose Housemates you’ll actually want to live with – and how many
It’s all great when you’re thinking of moving in together until you find that your new housemate won’t clean up and keeps you awake playing music from his loudspeakers until 4 in the morning. Make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. Also, the biggest house you can find will most likely be 8 bedrooms – and as there’s fewer of these, they go fast so start hunting early.
2. Decide on a budget
Not everyone can afford to pay a ridiculous amount of money per week, but unless you decide to get your own studio apartment then the likelihood is it will be cheaper than living on campus, but make sure you sit down and work out the amount everyone is willing to pay.
3. Check out Student Housing Companies
Not all of them will have a good reputation and you don’t want to get stuck with a company with low standards. Companies verified by the Student’s Union are often a good place to start, although other companies can be great too, just make sure to completely check their website. It’s probably a good idea to read some reviews first, just to be safe.
4. Think about the area you want to live in
Do you want to live in town? Closer to campus? Or somewhere in between? Regardless, make sure the house you’re looking at has good transport links.
5. Shortlist the houses your entire group likes
6. Get in touch with the company and arrange viewings
Make sure check for damp/mould and any other issues such as relevant safety certificates (e.g. those needed for a gas boiler), fire alarms etc. Contents insurance is a good thing to have as well, just in case.
8. Decide on which houses you all like best
Preferably there’s one you can picture yourselves living in, if there’s a couple then you can always arrange a second viewing.
9. Designate rooms
You don’t want an argument on moving day so choose who gets which room before you sign the contract if possible.
10. Double and Triple Check the contract before you sign and pay any deposit!
Yes the landlord/lady/agent might seem nice but there are some dodgy people out there. Make sure the specifics are written down. If the property is advertised as including all bills, Wi-Fi and a TV licence make sure that’s what it says. I would also recommend checking payments; most student properties will allow termly but check what dates these are needed, you can’t pay out money that you don’t have.