Paying a premium for student living?

ID-10037026With student rents at an all-time high, many students have taken the option to share accommodation with more people than they would like in order to keep costs to a minimum.  Rising costs of everyday items like food, clothes and tuition fees mean that the more you have to pay out in rent, the less you have left for fun.

Students have to be really savvy to find decent accommodation at an affordable price and this means starting the property search early.  It may seem ridiculously premature but you actually need to be sorting your second or third year accommodation as early as February even though you won’t be moving in until October.

Ideally, choose who you would like to share with (this is the time when you can ditch the person who doesn’t pay their way or never washes up).

The easiest way to do this is to make friends with people in their final year – it may have taken them 2 years to find the right place, but now that they’ve done all the hard work you may as well benefit from it.  Some things to consider are:

  • Distance from campus – is it walkable (cheapest), or would you need to catch a bus?  If so, how close is the bus stop?
  • Rent – how many people does the landlord allow in the property and how much does this make the shared rent?  If not all the bedrooms are the same size, you may find yourself paying slightly more or slightly less than others sharing the same house.
  • Bills – The current tenants will have bills that you can get an idea of the costs involved.
  • State of Repair – If the property has badly fitting doors and windows then you’re going to spend more on heating in the winter months.

Alternatively, check out local estate agents and letting agents online and when you see something you like the look of, ring them straight away and make an appointment to view.  Don’t leave it until the next day or the next because you’ll find it’s gone and you’re back to square one.

Use your noodle – set yourself a task reminder in Outlook  – it’s a fantastic way to organise your life.

For those less organised: what if, at the eleventh hour you find yourself with only a couple of weeks to find accommodation before the start of the new academic year?

Actually – this could work to your advantage because there are also students who have been let down at the eleventh hour because one of their mates has decided not to return to university this year!

  • Put up a ‘Room Wanted’ poster on the Student Union noticeboard
  • Contact as many people as you can and get everyone asking around on your behalf
  • Try www.easyroommate.com/students – free registration

This is a promoted post from our kind sponsors Phoenix Student Store.

Image courtesy of winnond via freedigitalphotos.net

 

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