There is no doubt we are in uncertain and worrying times and unfortunately that looks to be the case for the foreseeable future. So just how does that impact upon you when it comes to college and finding accommodation?
Finding accommodation for college can be tricky at the best of times, throw in the uncertainty of time you will need to be on campus and you’ve got a predicament. Your Students’ Union doesn't have all the answers but we will endeavour to assist you with any questions and help you get sorted as much as possible. Unfortunately everyone is still in relatively uncharted territory, we hope this information is useful for you when sourcing accommodation or with any issues that arise during the academic year.
If you need further information or assistance, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where do I Start?
- What type of property do I need? House? Digs? Apartment? Airbnb? Hostel? Hotel?
- Will I need accommodation for the full year or semester or just the days I am on campus?
- What is my budget? Weekly? Monthly?
- What areas suit my needs? Transportation? Location? Shops?
Types of Accommodation:
- Digs: rooms in host family homes available either on a 5 or 7 day basis, some include meals - try to get the one that best suits you.
- Private rented accommodation: residential lettings, either the full property or a room within the property, available 7 days a week with a lease anywhere from 3 to 12 months.
- Student accommodation: Purpose Built accommodation blocks with other students, usually a private or twin room with ensuite, and shared kitchen and living space with up to 12 other students - available 7 days a week during term time
- Airbnb: Various types available, aging from a room in a house with the owner to an entire property let, suitable for short term e.g 1-2 nights, paid upfront for the use of the property similar to a hotel or B&B.
- Hotel: If you are timetabled to be on campus a few days out of the month renting a hotel room for the nights you need it could be an option. There are hotel rooms that are reasonably priced and affordable however it is not an ideal or long term solution.
- Hostel: Similar to the hotel option but can be much cheaper (depending on the hostel some are pricier than hotels!). Bear in mind it is usually cheapest to get a bed in a dorm room which would mean sharing with strangers which may not be suitable in the current climate, however dorms have 50% reduced capacity meaning an 8 bed is now 4 etc.
Things to keep in mind:
- Bills aren’t always included in the monthly rental, be sure to ask.
- Hand over the deposit when you sign the lease or after – NEVER BEFORE!
- Ensure you have a copy of the lease and receipt of deposit.
- If you are sharing with the landlord normal rights don’t apply- always draw up a letter of agreement regarding rent and bills with the landlord and be sure you both sign it.
- If it’s shared accommodation find out how many people and who you will be sharing with. This can prevent issues arising after you move in.
Viewing Your Accommodation:
You may be invited to a virtual viewing preliminarily this is ok but do not sign anything or hand over money until you have inspected the property in person
- Always meet the landlord at the property when doing an in person viewing
- Bring a checklist and stay focused
- Ask what's included? Are bills extra?
- Bring a friend/family member along to get a second opinion
- Inspect the place for mould/damp
- Ask as many questions as you can
- Ideally a bank transfer is preferable, most reputable agencies / landlords will prefer this to cash
- If someone is insisting on cash - alarm bells.
- NEVER pay money to view a property or for any other reason than deposit / rent
- Do not hand over money without a receipt
- Don’t feel pressure to decide straight away
More Useful Information
- Good Landlord Tenant Guide attached and can also be found on the rtb website under publications here.
- Minimum Standards flier can be found here.
- Benefits of mediation leaflet here.
- Government Guidance Document on the new rent arrears legislation can be found here.
- Self-Declaration form for those tenants who have been impacted by Covid, are in rent arrears and are at risk of losing their tenancy can be found here.