Off-Campus Accommodation… Words of Advice
It’s nearing the time of the year when you have to start finalising your housing arrangements and sign contracts for next year. From someone whose been through the whole process (and not had the best experience!), here are some friendly words of advice…
My first and most important tip would be not to worry about getting a house too early! So many people sign contracts in the Autumn term because they think they are going to ‘lose out on the best houses’ but honestly, there are always new and more impressive houses being released on all the property sites so don’t worry!
Secondly, make sure you research the estate agent! Be careful and make sure you have a break clause built into your contract. I’d also recommend asking the current tenants as they can not only advise on the agents but also the landlord. Just don’t go jumping to sign any contracts without properly checking.
On that note, make sure you read and re-read the contract and perhaps even get one of your friends or family members to read it over with you. It’s very important that everything that is agreed verbally is also written into the contract. Generally, student landlords have a reputation for not having the fairest contracts, so make sure you read it over as soon as you receive it and ask any questions you need to. Also, you can always get advice from the SU, which I would strongly recommend if you are ever worried or confused about a contract.
My next tip would be to make sure you ask for an inventory list. There are things which I was expecting to have in the house, which just weren’t there when I arrived (e.g. a kettle and toaster). Also, this can be helpful when it comes to packing up at the end of the year to know what was there to begin with.
Finally, there are always people looking for people to fill their houses because one or two people drop out, so don’t worry about not having somewhere to live next year especially if you are worried about how the pandemic will pan out – there are always options!
That’s it for now! I hope this helps! If you have any questions about off-campus accommodation, feel free to contact me or leave a comment below!