The foolproof guide to student housing

It’s that time of year, the leaves are beginning to fall off the trees, winter is rapidly approaching and all thoughts of outside drinking become nothing more than distant summer memories. You’ve finally begun to settle into the university lifestyle, getting to grips with your course and starting to forge what may be the beginning of some lifelong friendships, and then as suddenly as this new-found peace begins it ends with November and the sudden frantic rush to acquire a house for second year.

From an outside perspective it would seem mad to ask young adults, who in all likelihood will have known each other for less than two months, to decide who they want to live with the following year, and yet this occurs every year. This article will aim to help dispel some of the myths and potential anxieties house hunting can cause students and hopefully set you up for a successful and stress-free second year.

  • Make sure you’re sure you can live with these people for at least a year, remember there’s a lot of time for arguments between the signing of the housing contract and September of second year. It’s very difficult to get out of a letting contract once it has been signed and you don’t want to find yourself in that situation.
  • There seems to be some sort of pact between the different landlords and letting agencies in Sheffield to cause hysteria in the student population by peddling the idea all student housing will be snapped up before Christmas. This is definitely not the case, as from personal experience I easily secured a house in January for second year. Take your time and be sure before you take the plunge into student housing.
  • Make sure you view more than one house and don’t be pressured by the landlord into signing for the house, as some will try to convince you another group are ready to snap up the property before you. Check the house for damp and for any other potential issue that may cause you problems in the following year.
  • Location – it’s all well and good finding the perfect house at the top of Crookes but will you be willing to make the treacherous journey up Conduit Hill in the dead of winter? Make sure to assess your motivation levels before you commit to such an endeavor. It may also be wise to check the crime rates in the area as student hotspots are very attractive to potential criminals due to the likelihood of multiple electronic devices in one household.
  •  Bills – all included or rent only? Included bills may seem like the easier option as it reduces the risk of arguments about utility usage between housemates. However, in many cases included bills will cost you far more than your actual usage and sorting the bills out yourself will be financially beneficial in the long run.

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