Before You Start Searching
Before you start looking for accommodation it is best to be clear on what you require. Consider what is important to you and what your needs are, and ask yourself how these will affect your choice of property.
- Do you wish to live closer to the University or to the city, or would you prefer to live near the beach? Is being close to a shopping centre important to you?
- Do you rely on public transport? If so, consider living in suburbs close to the Campus or in accommodation on the main public transport routes.
- Will you look for part time work? Think of where you will look for work and how you will get to your workplace.
- Are you in a group of students? University flats and whole vacant properties off-campus might suit your needs.
- If you do not have a car, make sure that you can get to the University by public transport. Information about train services and buses are available.
- If you have a car, you can park it at the University. You will need to purchase a parking permit or pay a daily rate for this. More information is available on the Parking website.
- Riding a bicycle is a great way to save money, help the environment and keep fit!
- What sort of space are you looking for? The layout of your accommodation is important, particularly if you are sharing with others.
- Do you wish to have your own room? Do you need a quiet place for study, strong light for design drawings, access to a computer, or an area to practice musical instruments?
- Are you willing to share bathroom and kitchen facilities? If not, a one-bedroom apartment off-campus may be your only option. These can prove expensive.
- Do you want meals provided? Off-campus, the only choice would be full board. In some share households people share food and cooking, but others buy all their food separately. "Furnished" usually means basic furnishings which will include whitegoods and other furniture but seldom means linen and cookware/crockery. "Unfurnished" means residents must provide their own whitegoods and furniture.
The people you live with largely influence the atmosphere in your new home and it's important to remember this when deciding who will be suitable to live with and whether you will get along well as housemates.
- Who do you want to live with?
- Do you want to live with several people, or only one or two?
- Do you want to share expenses, cooking, meal times and social activities, or would you prefer more privacy?
- Do you want to live in a family situation, or with friends?
- Are you ready for independent-style living?
- Do you have life-skills, such as cooking and cleaning?
- Are you ready to be responsible for paying the rent and bills, getting furniture, etc? Or do you want to start by moving into something already furnished?
- If you are looking for a rental property or share accommodation: how much time will you need to look for a place?
- Do you have references ready?
- Do you have the money for bond and the first month's rent?
- Do you know where and how to look for a house or flat?
- Do you know your rights and responsibilities as a tenant?
- Do you have friends who also want to establish a house?
- What will your expenses be for the year?
- Who will be paying for your housing - you or your parents?
- Will you need a part-time job?
- Will your scholarship cover your expenses?
- Housing options vary in price, so which one can you afford?
- Work out your expected annual budget for housing, travel, food, bills, entertainment, uni expenses and fees.
- Consider the difference that the distance from the University makes to your budget. Living closer to Uni may cost more in rent, but you may save on travel each day and vice versa. Don't forget that increased travel time may take away your time for study or part-time work.