“HELLO AND WELCOME TO MY CRIB ON MTV!” said no student ever because – as we all know – our species are collectively skint and we’d never have a glam enough apartment to appear on that show.
In this article we’re going to give you our top tips on how to live within your means when choosing accommodation for second year.
-What can you afford?
Be realistic; there’s no good in agreeing to live in a 5* luxury hotel, when your budget doesn’t stretch that far. We’re students – beans on toast is our haute cuisine, find accommodation which will fit in accordingly.
-Are all bills included?
Generally speaking, most letting agencies include all utilities in the bill – so that’s gas, electricity, water and broadband… however, TV licenses? Not always. So, the inclusion of TV license on the bill is another thing to consider. REMEMBER: it’s all about saving that dosh.
– Living with friends or studio flat?
It’s all well and good making plans to live with your new best mates in Fresher’s Week, but just remember; sometimes people aren’t always as they first appear. That oh-so-cool nicey-nicey girl you’ve just met? She might be the most unhygienic, laziest girl you will ever come to meet. That boy you’ve just fell head-over-heels in love with? He might have five other girls head-over-heels in love with him. Be careful.
– Private or university managed housing?
Was the step from your mommy-coddled family home, to independent living a bit too much for you to handle? Then maybe university managed housing is the thing for you. However, if you’re thinking of going private using letting agencies, then always ensure the ones you choose and their landlords are accredited with the NALS license.
– How far is it from the university?
Extra costs on transport is something you ideally need to avoid. Plus, we all know how the student lifestyle can take its toll on our beloved beauty sleep – so why choose a house so far from the university that could compromise that? Location from the university should be a priority when you’re choosing a home for second year.
– Have you got a reputable agent?
As students, we are new to the housing world and relatively naïve – unfortunately this is something which landlords like to use to their advantage, and are therefore seldom known to pass off shoddy houses and flats to students at outrageous prices. Don’t allow yourself to be one of them. Do your research into the letting agencies, ask previous tenants, question any broken fixtures – even ask neighbours of the property if you have to. Do your bit to avoid being treated like a mug.
-READ the tenancy agreement!
Read it, read it and read it again. Make sure you and your guarantor are 100% certain on what you are signing your life away to – for all you know, the small print says you need to boil three frogs, eat two eyeballs and find the blood of a virgin; and where are you going for one of those in 2016?
This may seem like a minor issue to some, but to the fag-ash lils of the world, it may be the be-all and end-all of where they will live in second year. Though the majority of rented properties out there now are non-smoking, there are some out there that will allow it – once again, you will have to ask these things.
– Make sure everybody is happy…
Most importantly, make sure everybody is happy. For the following two years you’ll be wanting to live in your chosen property with the most positive atmosphere and least arguments as possible – this will not be happening if you’re living with someone who is secretly bitter at the fact they’ve been lumped in the coldest, dampest room. Be reasonable and fair.
Now, the easy part is over… the hard part is choosing what poison your drinking for the house party!
By Megan Johnson & Jade Baxter