As you move from first year to second year, you want to find some student accommodation that you can potentially live in for the next two years, has a great landlord or agent, quality furnishings and a smooth service.
Here are some great tips you can do to make sure that you find good quality student accommodation for the next 2 years of your university life!
Research Your Student Accommodation
When looking for student accommodation don’t just choose the first option on google. There are some great landlords in your city that won’t be on the first page of google. Make sure you dig around and play with lots of search terms so that you can bring up the best results. I have done a YouTube Video on this, make sure you are on the channel for when it comes out!
Then make sure you visit their websites, social media pages and other accounts to check they are active!
Always Go On The Viewing
Even during the pandemic, I still recommend doing socially distanced viewings. Why? Because you can really see how good the quality of the student accommodation is and whether it looks like the pictures.
It also gives you a chance to talk to the agent and ask lots of questions about their accommodation, policies, tenancy and procedures.
A virtual viewing is good when you can’t make the physical viewing and it is even better if you can video call the agent and they walk you around the property as you can tell them where to look!
Never agree to booking the first house you see, view three and then decide. Why? Because you have no understanding of the standard or average rent etc, by viewing more than one you can make your decision on whether it is a good house or not!
What Do They Offer?
Are they offering just a single bed or are they offering a doubled bed with an en-suite and gym downstairs? Compare what you see on each viewing and decide what is important to you.
If you want a good location, pick places in your desired area. If you want hassle free living, then living in a place that has breakfast, bike, gym and everything inside is ideal.
Make sure you look at what they are offering and compare it against the rent to see if it’s good value.
Check The Deposit & Rent Schedules
Every student accommodation provider should be registered with a deposit protection scheme. This means that when you pay your deposit, it goes to them and the provider doesn’t keep it. In the event of a dispute, the provider doesn’t hold all the cards.
If this isn’t listed on their site then you can always ask them!
Rent – Make sure you know how much you owe and when. They should have a clear schedule and it should be included detailed in their tenancy agreement.
You need to know when and how to pay.
Review Their Tenancy
Before you book the student accommodation make sure that you review their tenancy. A lot of the time they are templates which are adapted to each provider and this is absolutely fine, however I would check these parts:
- Type of tenancy (Single or Joint)
- Rent & Deposit
- Repair times or their responsibility
- Your responsibility
Check Standards & Accreditations
Many local councils require student houses to be licensed. They are known as a HMO and need to be on the HMO Register. You can check this by asking the provider for a certificate or going to the council and requesting this information, usually done under the Freedom of Information.
They can also be with other private companies, such as ANUK, to check, you simply just need to go to their website and search for the company you are staying with.
Standards are great in one sense and can mean nothing if they aren’t monitored. This is why you should always visit the house, you will find this out quickly.
Check Local Groups
There are going to be lots of student accommodation groups for your area, have a quick look in them if you want to see what others say about them.
Take everything on social media with a pinch of salt and that there are always two sides of the story but this should help you get some insight as to what their service is like and how they treat students.
Don’t be afraid to check their social media to see what they do for students.
Are They Student Focused?
In my experience the best student accommodation providers are always student focused. Many will say they are, however, those who actually do this are great to live with. They help, support and care for students to make sure that they have an enjoyable and positive experience.
When looking at student accommodation, this is one thing you need to get a feel for. This isn’t defined by a single thing, but by a multitude of things.
If you have any questions, please ask me via the website and I am more than happy to help students who are looking for student accommodation.