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What to Do If You Still Haven’t Sorted Your Accommodation for Next Year

What to Do If You Still Haven’t Sorted Your Accommodation for Next Year main image

Your first term is over and you’re settling into your new life at university, meeting lots of new people and (hopefully) starting to get to grips with your course.

Going into your second term, you’ve probably heard a few people talk about sorting housing for next year, and you might be starting to stress out about it a little bit – especially if you still don’t know who you are going to be living with.

However, finding student accommodation doesn’t need to be a stressful experience. With so many options available, finding a house (and housemates) can be relatively straightforward.

You haven’t left it too late, but it’s probably best to start looking now. Read on to find out how, with these four easy steps…

Step 1: Find your housemates

You may be lucky and already know exactly who you’re going to live with (if this is you, feel free to skip this step). Alternatively, you might have one friend you want to live with but would like to find other people as well, or perhaps you don’t have anyone to live with yet.

No matter which of these you are, there are sure to be plenty of people in your position, so don’t panic! Here’s what you need to do.

Ask around

Chat with people in your different friendship groups to find out if anyone needs a housemate. These may be your course mates, fellow society members, or people you’ve met in other ways. Chances are someone will be looking (or know someone who’s looking) for a housemate.

Even if this doesn’t work, the next time someone mentions they are looking for a housemate, your name will immediately come to mind.

Living with your friend’s friends can also be a great way to bond with new people. “In second year, my friend signed up for a flat with one friend and two of his friend’s friends who he hadn’t met before and they ended up becoming best mates with the other two,” said Katie, a recent Durham University graduate.

Facebook groups

Facebook groups are a great way to find people in the same position as you. Your university will most likely have specific groups you can join, made for students looking for someone to rent a house with.

“At Durham, there was a group called ‘Overheard at Durham’ where a lot of people searched for houses, but there were also more specific ones for people looking for an extra person or looking to join a group,” said Katie. 

 “I joined one of the ‘Looking for Housemates’ Facebook groups and saw a friend of a friend posted on there about needing a housemate. I then messaged that person and my friend to tell them I was interested, met them a couple of times and figured it’d be alright living with them” said Adam, a third-year University of Reading student.

2. Find houses to view

Finding a house can be easy, but sometimes it can be hard to know where to start. Find out which four questions you should ask yourself before searching for a student house.

Student letting agents vs private landlords

When searching for student accommodation, you can either choose to go through student letting agents or through private landlords. There are pros and cons for both, so you need to decide which is right for you.

Student lettings agents tend to be slightly more secure, as they act as a middleman between you and the landlord and can also give you advice about the local area.

However, going through private landlords can often be a cheaper way of doing things, as there won’t be extra fees to pay and you may not have to give so many references. 

Searching for houses

There are plenty of websites advertising houses available to rent, which allow you to easily arrange viewings for places which catch your eye. Many websites (like rightmove.com) even have a special section for student accommodation, and you can filter by your requirements.

“We just went on a student house letting website and found a few houses we liked. We’re looking at around four houses tomorrow” said Hattie, a first year Newcastle University student.

3. Go to viewings

So, you’ve found the people you’re going to live with, you’ve selected some houses to look round, and now you’re just about to view them – you’re nearly there!

Find out more about choosing the right accommodation for you.

Important questions you might want to ask when viewing a property include (but are not exclusive to):

  • How much will the rent be, and does this include bills?
  • How long can we rent the property for (i.e. can you renew your tenancy or end it early)?
  • Do you need to make payments before you move in (in fees etc.)?
  • Is there any allocated parking?
  • What are the neighbors like?
  • Is the rent in a rent deposit scheme?

4. Make an offer

Make an offer quickly as the good houses tend to get snatched up quickly. If there are other groups making an offer on the same house, the landlord is likely to go with the group they believe is likely to pay the rent on time and generally cause the least trouble.

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Written by Chloe Lane
A Content Writer for TopUniversities.com, Chloe has a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Reading and grew up in Leicestershire, UK. 

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