You’d be forgiven for thinking that with literally thousands or rooms, flats and houses up for grabs, finding one that suits would be something of a needle-in-the-haystack job. In reality however, there are really only five golden rules to follow, which in conjunction with one another will ensure that the digs you choose serve you proudly during your time at university.
…and here they are:
1 – Location
First of all, they say location is everything when it comes to choosing a property and this is just as true in the student accommodation arena. Exactly what represents the very best location for you personally will depend on your own particular circumstances and preferences. Some prefer to be right in the heart of the university campus, while others are much happier out in the suburbs. Some revel in the idea of being right where the action is in a bustling city centre location, while others prefer things much quieter and more remote. Wherever it is you are thinking about staying, you need to think about things like local conveniences, public transport, safety, living costs and so on. There really isn’t such a thing as the wrong location as such, but you must nonetheless ensure the location makes sense for you.
2 – Condition
Contrary to popular belief, the condition of the student accommodation you choose really does matter. There will always be those who assume that just as long as the place shelters you from the rain and has four walls, this is really all that you need. Unfortunately, this is exactly the kind of approach that results in thousands of students every year freezing half to death throughout the winter months and generally fighting a losing battle to keep the place livable, you will have problems with writing essays. From general comfort to safety and security to the amount you can expect to pay for your utility bills and so on, the condition of the place really does count for a lot. Remember – your accommodation will play a pivotal role in every aspect of your studies and indeed your success at university, so it simply makes sense to choose a quality property.
3 – Budget
Be careful not to fall into the trap of assuming that when it comes to budgeting, rent is the only thing you need to worry about. One of the most common mistakes made by so many students every year is that of working out (quite correctly) that they can indeed afford the rent on the student accommodation of their dreams. Unfortunately, they then go on to find out a little further down the line that after factoring in utility bills, Internet and other general living costs, they literally come out of the end of the month without a penny left over. Budgeting when it comes to student accommodation doesn’t mean having no cash to cover the rent. Instead, it means having enough cash to cover all outgoings and still have enough left over to enjoy at least a decent quality of life.
4 – Owner or Landlord
Make no mistake about it, the landlord or property owner will have an enormous impact on your time at university. The simple fact of the matter is that having to deal with your landlord on regular basis is something of an inevitability. This counts double if you are unlucky enough to sign up with a landlord with a tendency to snoop, pry and generally infringe upon your privacy, whenever they see fit. Just as a fantastic landlord cannot make up for a property that’s clearly a disaster, it is also true in reverse. Even if it really does appear to be the property of your dreams at an outstanding price, it really isn’t worth bothering with if the landlord isn’t a consummate professional.
5 – Fair Contract
Last but not least, reading the contract and ensuring you understand every single term and condition comprehensively really is of the utmost importance. What you have to remember is that the moment you sign a contract, you agree to each and every term it contains – even those that make no sense or are clearly unfair. It is up to you and you alone to analyze and study every element of the contract in full, ensuring you do not even consider signing if a) you do not understand it or b) you do not agree with one or more of its terms.