Have you started to look for houses for next year? Across Manchester & Crewe, thousands of students start their house search in November/December. If you haven't started looking yet - don't panic, there is an abundance of housing and you still have time! But here is our low down on hunting for a house to get your started...
The thought of finding somewhere to live can be a daunting process; who to live with (or does anyone want to live with you), which area to move to and will the house be of a standard that makes your house a home. While you may feel the urge to rush into signing contracts, guarantee forms and paying deposits, it is important to....
TAKE YOUR TIME: Don't make rash decisions. Ideally you want to follow a 4 stage process; search online and in letting agents windows, shortlist houses, view this list and then decide. You may be required to give an answer on the house you eventually want fairly quickly, so take a lot of time to consider during the shortlisting stage.
Manchester Student Homes, a department of both the Univeristy of Manchester & Manchetser Metropolitan Univeristy have a list of university approved housing across the city.
Crewe students can access Student Pad to find local housing.
When you are at your viewings, it can be easy to get swept away in the moment and think that you are in an episode of MTV cribs and this is your idea of heaven. If you like the house; that is brilliant, but you also need to...
PAY ATTENTION: While you would hope that all landlords offer good quality, safe housing, this is not always the case. If current tenants are in, ask them questions about the property, bills and the local area. You also want to make sure you are checking for:
- Smoke detectors, which are a legal requirement
- Any evidence of unwanted pests (e.g. rat droppings, slug trails)
- Any items which appear to be faulty or damaged
Once you have made your choice of house, the letting agent will be able to take the property off the market. However, they may only do this for a limited time, while you complete all the legalities involved. At this point, the agent will want you to sign contracts, provide a guarantor for your contract and pay a deposit. During this time, you need to...
CHECK EVERYTHING: With any legal documents, you need to ensure that you are happy with the terms you are signing up to. It is not an exciting thing to spend time doing, but it important for your own peace of mind. People who don't check contracts may end up in a sticky situation later down the line. Also make sure your guarantor has read the contract as they are agreeing to pay any rent you cannot.
If you want free contact advice, Manchester Student Homes can provide this.
Hopefully you can put the above tips into practice when viewing potential houses. The main thing is to enjoy the experience as it is an exciting time of change; there are some great properties around Manchester and Crewe. Happy house hunting!