There’s a lot to think about when looking for accommodation and there is lots of advice available, this might seem overwhelming but it is definitely worth putting in time and effort to find the right accommodation before you sign a contract.
Manchester Student Homes is a free university-run housing service that provides independent housing advice to students. They only advertise properties from approved landlords who have committed to their Code of Standards, and they offer free contract checking, so it’s a very good idea to visit their website or their Fallowfield office during your accommodation search.
You can find in depth housing advice on the Manchester Student Homes website, in the Student Housing Guide and from the Students Union website and Advice team. For advice on the financial side of accommodation, visit the Student Money Adviser’s Crucial Guide Housing page.
We’ve put together our Top 10 Tips to get you started:
- Start thinking about accommodation now (if you haven’t already)!
- Set a weekly or monthly budget; make sure the house you choose is affordable and don’t forget to include bills (gas, electricity, internet, etc).
- Don’t forget your deposit! You will be expected to pay a deposit on a property, usually equivalent to 1 month’s rent plus a little extra. Make sure you set aside money from your current year’s budget to meet this cost.
- Location! Location! Location! Find somewhere that you feel safe, within easy walking distance of the bus route (or cycling distance of the University if you prefer).
- You can stay in halls if you like; getting a house isn’t the only option, and you could still live with friends if you all request to live in halls together!
- Bigger isn’t necessarily better. Living with 9 other people might seem like a good idea but it might be easier to live with fewer people, consider splitting into 2 smaller houses if you’re in a big group of friends, you’ll live nearby anyway.
- Choose your housemates wisely. Depending on your tenancy (joint, separate or something in between) you may be responsible for each other’s rent, bills and damages, so think carefully about who you choose to live with.
- Find a reputable landlord; you could use Manchester Student Homes, either way make sure that they are legitimate, there is plenty of advice available!
- Get your contract checked! Manchester Student Homes or the Students Union Advice Team will do this for free. If your potential Landlord won’t let you take away a copy of the contract, find a different house!
- Complete your inventory. When you move in, make sure the inventory is up to date and signed by a witness; it will save you lots of hassle when it’s time to move out.