Guide to finding and securing your 2nd year accommodation
For most of us, going to university means moving out of your childhood home and into student accommodation. In your first year at Warwick, this transition is typically relatively smooth as on-campus accommodation is provided. In your second and third year however, you need to find and rent your own place off-campus. This process of finding a group of people to live with, deciding on the type, size, location and price of your accommodation and finally signing the lease can be pretty stressful! I certainly found it to be. So, based on my own experience, I have come up with a little guide that will hopefully help you secure your own house.
1) Start thinking about it early on
Whilst it might seem weird and unnecessary to start thinking about your housing for 2nd year within the first months of your first year at Warwick, the reality is that you have to. The demand for student houses is high which means you don’t want to miss out on all the good ones by being late to the party…
2) Accept that your search will take time
Going through the various websites is inevitably time-consuming. I personally carved out an hour every other day for some targetted research. I made sure to set a timer and stop after the hour was up because it is very easy to get swallowed up by Google! Also, make sure you bookmark everything!! Save the locations of the various properties on Google Maps, so you easily picture where they are and visit them, which brings me to my third tip.
3) Visit the properties
Visiting the houses you are considering is crucial! It might not be realistic for your entire group to visit at the same time, but someone needs to have seen the property for sure before you sign anything. Many letting agencies operate on a “knock-on-door” policy, which means that you can go visit the house without them. Simply knock on the door and hope the current students living there are home and ask them to show you around. I recommend either going in the evenings (not on POP Wednesdays…) or during the weekend (not before 10:30) for the best chance of having someone answer the door.
4) Ask questions
The best way to find out if there are any problems with the house is by asking the students that live in it now. Definitely, do this. I would recommend asking about:
– the heating
– the temperature of the showers
– quality of appliances
– experience with landlord/agency
5) Sign as quickly as possible
Once you have decided on a house, reserve it as quickly as possible. It would be a shame to let all your efforts go to waste because someone else reserved it faster than you did. When you get the contract, READ IT! Take time to do this and find the answer to any questions you might have. Before you sign, make sure everyone in your group is on the same page about paying rent.
6) Get excited!
Finally then, remember that although the entire process can be stressful at times, it is supposed to also be fun. Hopefully, you’ll be moving in with a nice group of people and you can look forward to great conversation, maybe hosting pre-drinks and regular house meals. Try to see the whole process as an incredibly valuable learning experience!