It may feel like you have only just arrived at University and yet everyone around you may be talking about finding accommodation for next year. In fact, some of your friends may have already started to view houses!
If this sounds familiar – don’t worry. While you don’t have to start looking or even confirm your accommodation just yet, it’s never too early to think about your options and to seek support to do so.
Before you start looking for your first house, it’s worthwhile answering these questions to help your search get off to a good start:
- How big or small is your group?
- What kind of accommodation are you looking for? A shared house, flat or private halls?
- Where do you want to live? In the city centre, Victoria Park, Rusholme or elsewhere?
- What is your budget? Does it include or exclude bills?
- How far are you willing to walk, cycle or commute in via bus, tram or train?
Once you’ve decided on these important factors, it’s now time to figure out when is a good time to start your search and to think about things in more detail:
- For individuals, groups of two, six or more: Start looking sooner rather than later. One and two bedroom flats and larger houses have a greater demand than supply.
- For groups of three, four or five: You could start looking now, but generally more properties will become available around Christmas and January.
- It’s worthwhile asking yourself whether you know your friends well enough to live with them next year. It is a big decision and if you have any doubts, talk it through with your potential housemates or family. When signing up for a house or flat, you will most likely be in a joint contract which means you’ll be tied together financially.
- While ‘bills inclusive’ contracts are great, it will mean you are paying someone an administration fee to sort your utility bills. In general, bills tend to be between £10 – £20 per person, per week (depending on the energy efficiency of the building). But when someone else is handling your bills, it could be £15 – £25 per person, per week.
- Finally, think carefully before signing or handling over any money as you won’t be able to just cancel your contract afterwards.
Still feeling confused, need some extra help with your search or the details in your contract?
As well as thinking about these important points, support is available to help your move go as smoothly as possible with Manchester Student Homes. They can help you find University-approved accommodation, provide free information advice and guidance and they can also carry out contract checks too.
Next week, the Manchester Student Homes team will be running Accommodation Fairs across campus where you’ll be able to ask questions, meet some of their landlords and also pick up a few freebies too!
If you’re ready to start your house hunt or are already looking, check out their top tips to rent right. And if you’d like Manchester Student Homes to check your contract (for free), drop them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.