Freshers' Accommodation Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Student Housing

Looking for some advice on freshers' accommodation? Here's what you need to know.

Searching for your perfect student home can be overwhelming as a fresher. With brand new mates, a fresh city to explore and plenty of responsibility on your plate, you might be thrown right into the deep end. When you add in the housing sitch, things can get pretty complicated!

To make things easier, we’ve put together a guide on everything you need to know about searching for accommodation as a fresher. From when to start looking to how to deal with bills, we’ve covered it all. Here’s what you need to know 👇

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When should I start looking?

Depending on which city you’re based in, accommodation for second year student homes will become available quicker than you might realise. Most letting agents in England and Wales release their listing for the next academic year around late October to early November. This can catch a lot of students off-guard, as it’s fairly soon into the academic year.

In London, the typical house-hunt begins in April. Ireland and Scotland are also a bit later, as homes usually start getting booked up towards the start of the calendar year.

Should I book a house as soon as possible?

In most cases, there are always enough houses to go around. If you’re unsure on who you want to live with or if you don’t know which area best suits you, we recommend waiting before signing any contracts.

A lot of things can change between signing for a home and getting the keys, so if you’re unsure: it’s best to hold back. Take things slow, view at least a handful of homes, and make sure your housemates are definitely your besties before you commit!

However, if you’re 100% set on your future house-related plans, there’s nothing stopping you from getting searching straight away! Whether you’re looking for a single flat or a house for eight people, we can help with that 👀

Who should I live with?

Ah, the age-old question... who should you live with? Only you will be able to figure out which of your new-found mates you could put up with for a full year, so make sure you choose wisely. It’s usually a good idea to wait a bit longer before signing anything if you’re not sure. As we mentioned above, there’s no real rush to book something as soon as possible, so take your time!

Whether you want to live with your course mates, current flatmates or even brand new pals from your sports club/society, you’re sure to have an amazing time while student living. And it’ll never hurt to wait a bit longer to find your tribe.

Should I live in a private house, student halls or purpose-built accommodation?

There are a load of pros and cons of living in either a private home or in purpose-built student accommodation – so it depends entirely on your situation.

If you’re looking to rent a pad with your besties right in the heart of your local student neighbourhood, a private home is the way to go. This option is ideal for those who want to experience student living to its fullest – even if it does mean a longer walk to campus.

A room in student halls or purpose-built accommodation usually suits students who prefer to be closer to the city. These buildings are often super close to the centre, which makes it easy to get around. They’re also an excellent option for students who are looking for single rooms.

Should I go all inclusive?

Sorting out your utilities is a huge responsibility when it comes to student living, and there are a number of options you can choose to get your bills paid.

You don’t need to go all inclusive with your bills if you’re up for sorting them yourself. But, this usually means plenty of paperwork, endless nagging to your flatmates for payments, and a bunch of calls to utility providers to get everything sorted. If you do want to organise your own utilities, then you’ll feel super accomplished once you’re done (just don’t forget to turn your heating off when you’re out and about!).

If you don’t fancy the hearty task of sorting all of your bills yourself, you can always get a company, like us here at UniHomes, to do it ALL for you. We’ll make sure you’re all set up for move-in day (so you won’t have to wait a few weeks for your WiFi to get up and running). Plus, you won’t have to worry about turning off your heating with our uncapped energy allowances!

When should I move in?

When it comes to the end of your time as a fresher, you’ll have to make the decision on whether you want to head home for summer or move straight into your new pad. When you get your keys will depend completely on your situation (and often what your flatmates are doing!).

If you’re super excited about your new pad, there’s nothing stopping you from moving straight in – just make sure to ask your new landlord if you can coordinate your move-in day with your move-out day. This’ll save you the painful task of having to move all of your stuff back home for the summer.

If you’d rather head back for a good ol’ summer in your hometown, you can always get your keys a few weeks before lectures start back up. Your landlord will keep your keys safe (and sometimes they offer a discount if you’re not living in your student home over summer).

Got anymore questions? We’re always down to help! Drop us a tweet and we’ll give you the low-down ✌️

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