How to House Hunt Off-Campus – OurWarwick
OurWarwick

How to House Hunt Off-Campus

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the)
Harriet Waldron | Mechanical Engineering Contact Harriet
Anything about anything!
Find out more about me Contact Harriet

Having lived on and off campus, there are some valuable things I’ve learned about house hunting that I want to relay to anyone looking to live off campus for the first time.

Firstly, working out who to live with, and where you are going to live. The most popular place is Leamington Spa – but will it suit all of you? Leam is a half an hour bus ride to campus, so for students on courses with less contact hours this is fundamentally less of an issue. For a course with more contact hours, however, it may be more convenient to live closer (e.g. in Canley).

Once you’ve decided on a location and your housemates to be, you can begin the hunt! Here are a few things that you will want to consider for each place you look at:

  • Are the bills included? (if not, you will have to work out what deals to get, and how to share costs with your housemates to get what you need).
  • What type of contract is it? (and is the contract for you as an individual, or does it encase everyone in your house?)
  • How do find the landlord? (some landlords might be better than others at responding to any issues you might have, so it’s worth trying to figure them out as you have a look around the property. Additionally, some properties might be let by an agent, such as OpenRent)
  • Do you have to pay council tax? (Usually the answer seems to be ‘no’, but it’s good to double check so you don’t get a nasty surprise)
  • What is the energy rating of the house? (bad insulation means it gets cold in winter and hot in summer!)
  • Does the place have working carbon monoxide and fire alarms and adequate safety measures?
  • How far away is the nearest convenience store?
  • How would you get to campus from the property?

If you are interested in a property, act interested when you are shown around. Let the agent/landlord know that you are serious about considering to rent their property; if you sound nice, they are more likely to let you know if someone else is also showing interest, and maybe even let you have priority over signing the contract first.

Whatever you do, don’t let yourself get rushed into contracts! Some places might give you a discount if you sign the contract on the same day that you view the property – but don’t let this sway you! Make sure you see all the properties you wanted to, and talk it through with your housemates. When you do decide, make sure you talk through who gets what room (some cost significantly more than others due to size).

If you are unsure about a particular property, or you can’t find somewhere, the SU website has a lot of useful information and further help, and even a list of some landlords which they have on a ‘housing list’ with their details. They also have a ‘housemates wanted’ forum, to find one or two people to fill spare rooms.

Hopefully there is some useful information in here for anyone with any questions. If you have any more queries, please don’t hesitate to message me.

Photo by Breno Assis on Unsplash

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the)
Harriet Waldron | Mechanical Engineering Contact Harriet
Anything about anything!
Find out more about me Contact Harriet

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