We know that many students typically start looking for the next academic year’s accommodation around November and December.
We also know there’s lots to think about, especially this year. So, if you are beginning to think about your plans for next year Manchester Student Homes (MSH) have put together some hints and tips to help
MSH can help students find University Approved Accommodation that have been checked and meet our Code of Standards. They provide information, advice and guidance on housing and also carry out contract checks.
So, what are the things you need to know before looking for your first property?
- How big is your group?
- What kind of accommodation are you looking for? A shared house, flat or private halls?
- Where do you want to live? City Centre, Victoria Park or areas like Fallowfield or Withington?
- What is your budget? Does it include or exclude bills?
- How far are you willing to walk, cycle or get the bus?
MSH recommend the following to help your house hunt:
- Take your time
It is important to take your time and make sure that you have carried out the research on the type of property, the landlord/ letting agent, rental price, the contract and the housemates. Try and look at as many properties as possible to make sure that you have a clear idea on the type of properties available.
- Consider who you will be living with
Carefully consider who you think that you can live with for extended periods of time. It is best to discuss and agree housing issues such as house rules, cleaning rota and how the bills will be split before you commit to living together. Living with friends can be an amazing experience, but things do tend to run more smoothly if you all agree on the basics!
- Viewing and reviewing properties safely in 2020/21
Landlords and letting agents should be supporting student tenants by carrying out viewings safely whilst maintaining social distance. Your safety should be the first priority and we recommend that you ask for virtual or live viewings in order to minimise the risk.
It may be useful to request that the viewings are carried out via FaceTime, WhatsApp or Zoom video call with a resident tenant of the property. This could provide the additional benefit of asking questions of the current tenants who will most likely give you an honest report on the property and the type of support the landlord provides.
If the viewings must be carried out in person, and any member of either the household viewing or undertaking the viewings are showing symptoms of coronavirus or are self-isolating then the physical viewing MUST be delayed.
All viewings should take place by appointment and only involve members of a single household. Any visits to a property must be made in accordance with current government guidelines.
The landlord or letting agent may require you to complete a Covid-19 health questionnaire, in order to manage and limit risk.
Further information and guidance on carrying out viewings can be found here.
- Check your contract with MSH
The tenancy agreement is a legally binding document that is for a fixed period of time. Therefore after signing they can be extremely difficult to cancel or be released from. MSH provides a contract checking service that is free. This will support you with any queries and help in identifying any abnormalities that you should be aware of.
- Is your deposit in a protection scheme?
Deposits are there to cover non-payment of rent and any damage to the property. Landlords are required by law to protect your deposit in a government registered scheme. You should receive a letter confirming the details of where the deposit is protected and how to release the funds at the end of the tenancy.
- Join MSH at one of their Housing Talks
For further information and support with house hunting for the next academic year, join MSH at one of their virtual House Hunting Talks that take place on the following dates:
- Tuesday 10th November – 1pm -2pm
- Thursday 12th November – 3pm -4pm
- Monday 16th November – 5.30pm -6.30pm
- Wednesday18th November – 6pm -7pm
If you are interested in attending one of the House Hunting Talks please email your interest along with your full name, institution of study (if you use your personal email), your student number and the day you wish to attend to firstname.lastname@example.org by 2pm the day before the event.
If you have any housing queries please email them at email@example.com or call them on 0161 275 7680.