If you’re beginning to think about next year’s accommodation, there are several factors that you should take into account before making decisions on where and who to live with.
Manchester Student Homes can help you find University Approved Accommodation that have been checked and meet our Code of Standards. They provide FREE information, advice and guidance on housing and also carry out contract checks.
What should you consider before looking for a 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 tips during house hunting:
1. Take your time
It’s important to take your time and ensure that you have carried out thorough research on the type of property you’d like, who the landlord/ letting agent is, the rental price and what type of contract you’d be asked to sign. Try and look at as many properties as possible to ensure that you have a clear idea on the type of properties that are available and what best suits your needs as a group.
2. Consider who you will be living with
Carefully consider and select who you think that you can live with for extended periods of time. It’s best to discuss and agree housing issues such as house rules, cleaning rotas and how the bills will be split ahead of time so that everyone starts the tenancy on the same page. Make sure you get on well and that everyone is in agreement to what you’re signing up to!
3. Viewing and reviewing properties safely
Landlords and letting agents should ensure they are supporting student tenants by carrying out viewings safely whilst following current government guidelines. Your safety should be the first priority and we would recommend that you ask for virtual or live viewings in order to minimise the risks associated with COVID-19.
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.
4. 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 free contract checking service to support you with any queries and help in identifying any abnormalities that you should be aware of.
5. 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 a tenant’s 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.
6. 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 House Hunting Talks that take place on the following dates:
- Tuesday 9th November – 6pm-7pm – Hulme Hall
- Wednesday 10th November – 3pm-4pm – Virtually via Zoom
- Thursday 11th November – 6pm-7pm – Uttley Hall
- Monday 15th November – 6pm-7pm – Virtually via Zoom
- Tuesday 16th November – 6pm -7pm – University Place
This year, the Citizens Advice Bureau will also be attending the talks to provide useful information on the following:
- Top Tips on how to save money on your energy bills
- How to keep your home warm in the winter
- Solving problems with energy providers
If you are interested in attending one of the virtual House Hunting Talks please use the login details below: https://zoom.us/j/92812184774
Meeting ID: 928 1218 4774 Passcode: 765739 If you have any housing queries please email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or call them on 0161 275 7680.