If you are a student about to start looking for somewhere to live, this guide is for you.
Whether you’re looking for accommodation straightaway or thinking about finding a place to live for the next academic year, this guide should help you through the whole House Hunting process and give you all the information you need to make a Smart Move.
If you have specific housing needs and require further advice, the Student Advice Centre is here to help. We have specialist housing advisers who can advise you at every stage of your housing journey, from checking over a new contract through to getting your deposit back when the tenancy ends. Contact details for Student Advice Centre are at the back of this guide. Additionally, you can find comprehensive information and advice on a wide range of housing, money, academic and immigration issues on the Student Advice Centre pages.
Freshers’ week was only a few weeks ago but some students will be tempted to start looking for housing already. Landlords may use clever tactics to get you to sign early but really, taking your time means you will end up with a much happier home.
There’s an abundance of housing in Sheffield and loads of 4-bed houses, so if you’re in a big group, consider splitting up- you’ll get more for your money too! Don’t sign until you’re happy with your housemates (particularly if you’ve only known them since Freshers!).
Look out for the amazing work that your Welfare Committee is doing, such as the Housemate Finder events which are perfect if you’re not sure who you want to live with. But most importantly don’t even start thinking about house-hunting until you’ve been to the Housing Fair on 17th November. You can meet landlords we endorse and get loads of quality housing advice. If you need help or advice about housing then contact the Student Advice Centre on email@example.com.
Gabi Binnie, Welfare Officer
Around November each year in Sheffield, local letting agents will start marketing properties for the next academic year and the annual house hunting season begins. There really is no need to start house hunting this early and it is possible to find accommodation of a good standard and close to the University whenever you choose to start house hunting.
Most shared houses are for groups of four or five and splitting into groups of this size will offer you the widest choice of properties and could also be better for your budget. There is also a good supply throughout the year. The supply of larger houses is more restricted so if you are in a group of six or more you may find it necessary to start house hunting before Christmas. If you are a large group it would be worth considering splitting into two smaller groups and you could even find houses on the same street or flats in the same block.
Students with specific housing needs, such as students with children who want to live near particular schools, or students with a disability who might need a particular type of property, may also find it beneficial to start house hunting earlier. Self-contained accommodation, such as one bedroom flats in the city centre, tends to be advertised much nearer to the contract start date. If you are a single person looking for a room in a shared house you can wait till next summer to find a room as there are always spare rooms available in shared properties.
Top Tip: If you do feel the need to start house hunting before Christmas, come along to the Smart Move Housing Fair in the Students’ Union on 17th November 2015, 11-3pm. You will have a chance to meet reputable landlords, agents and get information and advice to help you make a Smart Move.