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advice centre's top tips for students

Advice Centre Blog

  • Tue 04 Feb 2014 18:13

    Your first year living in halls is done, you have friends from your course, clubs or societies and maybe flatmates that have become friends, and it’s now time to think about moving into a shared house.

     

    This can be a really exciting time and a great experience, but can also come with a whole host of worries: real bills to pay to real companies, a noisy housemate with a love of loud music when you’re sharing a paper thin wall, a washing up avoider, landlord issues, house security and the maze of contracts, but fear not!

     

    There are ways to make sure that your first shared house is one of peace and harmony. We’ve had a think about some top tips and advice to think about first:

     

    • Don’t rush. You may be tempted to, but don’t. There will always be houses available even in June and July, and you can never be sure about others people’s circumstances or if they might change over Summer.

     

    • Think about who you want to live with. Can you live with a smoker, someone who’s obsessively tidy, or musicians who have regular band practices in the evening? Be honest about your own lifestyle and needs too, when talking to prospective housemates.

     

    • Decide on a location. At first, popular student areas such as Fallowfield may seem like the right choice, but costs can be higher in these areas, and the standard of landlords not as good as other locations. Consider smaller flats in or around the town centre, near campus and local amenities. Shared housing does not just mean an 8 bedroom house on a student road. Check out Manchester Student Homes for other location options.

     

    • Do not be pressured. BEFORE you sign any agreement, be aware that it is a legal contract and you will be bound to it. So if it’s is too expensive or you have fallen out with your flatmates, you will still have to pay rent until the end of the tenancy. Our Advice Centre will have a look at an agreement for you to ensure it in line with industry standards. Most students will have something called an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (a fixed term agreement where all tenants are jointly liable for the rent) – so if one doesn’t pay, you may have to cover their share – be aware of your rights and responsibilities.

     

    Look out for our next post, which will include more information on necessities such as council tax, ground rules, house security plus splitting bills, arranging rooms and maintaining friendships whilst working towards your degree.

     

    In the meantime, if you have any questions or want more information contcat the Advice Centre, or have a look at their FAQs or housing booklet

     

    Happy housing!