Moving into your first student house is one of the most exciting parts of your whole university experience. It’s easy to let this excitement get the best of you and fall into some common traps which can taint your experience. Read the following points and be confident knowing that your first student house will be everything you deserve!
Most students will live with friends that they have made in halls, on their course or are part of the same sports team or society as them. Pretty straight forward, right? Well, there is one thing that you may want to consider at the beginning, so it doesn't become an issue later. I am talking about the price of your accommodation.
In Leeds, there is a pretty big range of prices for student accommodation, and while you need to consider what you can personally afford, you may want to have the awkward conversation with your potential future housemates before it becomes a problem. At Haus, we make sure we have guarantors for each tenant, so if one of your housemates does fall back on paying the rent then it won't become a problem for all of you, but best to make sure everyone is within their budget from the start.
Other than that, we're all adults and can usually tell the people that we will get on well living with and who might be a problem. If you're not too which type of people to look out for then here are a few pointers for how to spot housemates you should try to avoid at all costs.
The cost of a student house in Leeds can vary greatly depending on what you're looking for. You can pay as much as £1,300 per month for a brand new flat with a cinema and gym in your building or can go as low as £200 per month for a modest house share. The rent isn't the only thing that you need to consider, though. If you get a really great rate on the rent, then this means that you probably have to pay the bills separately. Spending a bit more each month to have your bills included is highly recommended for students sharing a house. It saves you from arranging for one person to pay the bill and everyone else to pay them back. It also saves arguments about who is using the most energy in the house, and ultimately, it just makes your life a lot easier. What's included in bills included?
You will need to consider some other costs, too. How much does internet cost? How much am I going to spend on transport? You may save a bit on rent if you're further away, but will you give that money back on buses and taxis? How much am I going to spend on food each week? How much are my books at the start of the term? How much will my social life cost me?
If you leave it too late then trying to find student accommodation can become very stressful. It becomes harder to get an appointment that suits you and houses seem to be disappearing by the hour. To avoid this unnecessary stress and the risk of missing out on a student house that you will be thrilled with for a year, make sure you are well prepared.
When you start your house search early, it means you can be patient and quite picky about what you get. Of course, you don't want to spend too much time going through the process, but you certainly don't want to feel rushed. Just by reading this article, you are going to have a great idea of what you need to do, but you can also give us a call or pop into the office for a chat.
Houses start to get let as early as October and the season goes through until February. Obviously, there will be more choice at the beginning of the search, but if you haven’t finalised who you’ll be living with then don’t worry; we have the largest portfolio of student properties in Leeds and we’re sure to find you one you’ll love.
Other than the number of bedrooms you're looking for, you may not have much on your wish list. The best place to start having a look is online. You can search for available properties with the number of bedrooms you want. This will give you a good idea of what is possible within your price range. When you are looking for student accommodation online, you might be surprised at some of the things that are on offer, and they may give you some inspiration as to the specific type of house you want.
After you've had a look around online and made a shortlist of what you're looking for then get in touch with us. By this point you will have a much better idea of what you're looking for and speaking to someone with a unique understanding of the area will only help you to refine your search. If you already know what you have in mind, then you can give us a call straight away, and we'll put a shortlist together for you.
The Arc, on Ash Road now offers 2-4-1 from Sunday-Thursday on cocktails (the “Heisenberg” is a particular favourite). If a more traditional “pub” is your thing, then head to the Original Oak on Otley Road which serves classic pub grub and real ale.
Regardless of your budget, you want to know that you're moving into a quality student house. I'm sure we've all heard some horror stories of student accommodation being well below the standard that you would expect just because they think they can get away with it because it's a student house. That's not the case with Haus. We have voluntarily signed up to adhere to and be regulated by the Unipol Code of standards. As a Unipol Full Code agent, the condition of our properties is much higher than is required by law, and we have a trusted independent third party to make sure of it.
Knowing a property is up to Unipol’s standards should put your mind at ease, but it is still crucial that you go to look around the property before you sign a tenancy agreement. If you're looking for a house for a large group, then it may not be possible to get everyone together at the same time to view the property. Designate the two or three most vigilant of the group and have them go to inspect the potential properties. If you see some small scuffs on furniture, then this shouldn't be a deal-breaker, but you should look out for potentially significant issues like damp or mould. Things to look out for in your property.
It's imperative that you know what you're responsible for and that you understand your landlord’s responsibilities. The tenancy agreement for your student house may be the first substantial, legally binding contract that many of you are signing and so you should make sure you fully understand it. That's not to say that there's anything in there that should shock you, and we are on hand to explain anything that may be unclear to you, but the responsibility ultimately lies with you.
Different student accommodation will come will differing levels of facilities included with them. If you have been living in halls before, you may have become accustomed to using a shared laundry room and may have had your meals catered for you. If you're coming from your parents' house, then you probably had all of this taken care of for you (at least in terms of having access to everything you needed).
When you move into private student accommodation with your friends, you will need to do a check of what is included in the house. Check for things like an ironing board, vacuum cleaner, toaster, and kettle. You will be living there for a year so if they are not included or you don't think they are up to standard then you need to address this before you move in. Lots of people find it's easier just to bring their own. Make sure you coordinate with your future housemates before you pack these sorts of appliances though; you won't need to have three toasters cluttering up the kitchen.
Of course, this is a big one. The location of your student house brings together many considerations from price and safety, to convenience and condition of the property. We've already gone through most of these considerations so let's focus on convenience. There are several things that you will want to consider in terms of convenience.
Distance from University - Are you planning on walking to uni or are you going to get the bus? How often do you need to go into uni? If you are taking more of a reading-based course, then you might not need to be that close to campus. If you must be in class every morning, then proximity to uni will probably be more of a priority.
Shops - Can you walk to the shops when you run out of food? What time do the shops close around there if you need some more red bull at 2 am? (you shouldn't drink red bull at 2 am). Do you need any speciality foods that you can only buy from certain places?
GP and Pharmacy - how long will it take you to get yourself some medication if you need it? Remember that you will need to register with a GP
Training - Are you going to be living with friends that play the same sports? Is proximity to where you train going to be relevant? Is someone going to have their car so you can chip in for petrol?