When should I start looking for student accommodation?
Students | Tips for Students | 07/04/17
September is the start of term for most UK universities and therefore moving day for most students around the country falls around the same time. The search for accommodation before the beginning of term is often a source of stress and panic for many students, no matter how early they start their search. Here are a few tips for finding a place to live at the right time, as well as the best time to move in.
When is the best time to start looking?
Most students starting university in the UK will opt for student halls of residence either provided by or affiliated to the university. Therefore, your accommodation search will be dictated by your university’s internal procedures, offer dates and results. For students who don’t like the idea of living in halls, we would recommend starting your search for first-year accommodation as soon as possible. Whether you’re looking for a spare room with a host family or a houseshare of existing/prospective students, get house searching as soon as you’ve decided which university and city will be your home for the next three (or more) years.
For current students looking to move out of halls or find accommodation for the following year, a lot will depend on your university’s housing culture. Some cities, like Leeds and Nottingham will have the bulk of students searching in January and February following the end of exams. Others will be more relaxed and leave the house search until April/May, while students in cities like Manchester and Exeter start looking for accommodation as early as October/November. As most students live in house or flat shares, it’s important to think about who you’ll be living with before you start your search – too soon and you don’t know your true mates, too late and you’ll miss out on the good ones! Student house searches can be incredibly competitive, but there’s always something left no matter how late you leave it. If you’re in doubt – ask students in the years above you for their advice, as they’ve already done it at least once!
If you’re not interested in a flatshare with other students, why not learn about the benefits of staying in a spare room with a local host family to help you settle into the area and make the transition from home to university a little easier. This can be a good option for international students to improve their English and learn about local life.
No matter when you search for your student housing, you’ll all be moving in around the same time. Key tip – don’t leave anything until the last minute. Whether you’re leaving home for the first time or moving from one place to another in your university city, you should plan well in advance. Make sure you know when you can move in; you don’t have to arrive on the first day, but you want to arrive early and leave time before term starts. If you’re living with other people, it’s also a good idea to check who will be moving in first – you will need to organize with the landlord for your arrival. If your rental starts earlier in the summer, some people may wish to move their stuff in earlier to avoid the start-of-term rush. Check out our articles on flatsharing and housesharing before you start!
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