Friday, 6 January 2017

Tips for Choosing your Student Housing

Having lived in halls and 2 different student houses, I can say from experience that they are very different prospects. Searching for student housing can be pretty daunting for students who have never had to do anything like it before. I’ve put together a few tips to consider over the coming weeks, as we enter semester B, and prepare to secure housing for the next academic year.


Choosing housemates
For first years, you may only have known your peers for three or four months, so deciding who you want to live with can be a big decision. Think carefully about who you want to live with, sometimes your best friend at university can be your polar opposite when it comes to living together. You don’t want friends to turn to enemies over some washing or not cleaning up after pre drinks. Also, consider how much your courses differ; when people have to work nights shifts, or go on placement for months at a time, it can affect the house and sometimes make paying bills, etc. more difficult.


Choosing your estate agents
There are more than enough estate agents in Hatfield to help you find the right house. Each agency has different policies, different fees and a variety of house sizes. Take some time to go around each of them, picking up their student housing lists and finding out about their individual fees. LetSU (Hertfordshire Students' Union’s own estate agency) is a great place to start.

Money
When you find the right house, either a deposit or holding fee (depending on the estate agent you choose) is put down to secure the house for you/your group. This lump sum (which can vary from around £300 into the thousands) often isn’t budgeted for in a student loan so make sure you have access to the money when required. Without a deposit, or a delayed payment, agencies will not hold the house for you. Remember a deposit is refundable and you get it back after the tenancy has ended (however you may incur charges) but an administration fee, which is also paid with a deposit (unless you go with LetSU), is non-refundable.

Distance
Even though Hatfield is small, one must consider the best location of a house for their course. If your course is mainly based on College Lane will you be happy to get the shuttle bus from de Hav each morning?

Asking questions
Whether attending a booked viewing or simply turning up on the doorstep, it’s good to ask the current tenants questions about a property; if there’s been any problems, how much they pay for bills, etc. The opinions of current tenants are more likely to paint a clear picture of the property than the Estate agents, who are paid to rent it to you.


Visit the University’s Housing Fair
Not only will LetSU be there showing off the houses they have to offer, many companies will be there to help you with all aspects of student housing. Follow uniofherts on SnapChat where I will be taking over to show you everything going on. (11:00 - 14:00, 12 January 2016
Hutton Hub Lounge, College Lane)

Keep an eye out for future blog posts on how to prepare for moving into your home prior to the new academic year.

Tamsin



A little bit about me… I’m Tamsin, a member of your new University Social Media Street Team. I currently have a lifestyle and beauty blog, and I am currently a second year Biomedical Science student. I’m a pretty bubbly person, so if you see me around say hi! Visit my blog if you like random posts about anything, from makeup to political matters and everything in between.

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