House Hunting is Here!

 Welcome to the November article. Freshers should be firmly behind you now as you start to get your university schedules in place, first assignments are handed out, (with scarily close deadlines), and the serious work begins.

Things in your accommodation should be settling a little too. We know the first few weeks, especially for first years, can be difficult and challenging as everyone jostles for position in the accommodation, personal expectations are challenged, there is an emotional and physical separation from family, friends and familiarity and a whole new life to get to grips with.  

One of the key challenges for students when they first arrive is the need to make social connections, forge positive, new relationships and extend their personal networks; all this whilst making the transition to university, away from all that is familiar and supportive. Bit of a challenge!

Research has identified the first three months as being the most difficult and isolating; this is the time most students are at risk of loneliness. Factors that can contribute to feeling isolated include unrealistic and elevated expectations of university - being best friends for ever with you co tenants, fantastic social opportunities, amazing nights out… the list goes on and the so does the pressure.

Several students have recently stated they are ‘not doing uni right.’ There is no right or wrong way to do University, you do Uni to get the best out of it for YOU! You have responsibilities as a student to pay your fees, attend lectures, do independent study, get your work in on time. These are the key things that will get you to graduation. There is also a huge amount of pressure to have FUN! If your flat mates are party people and seem to be having 24 hour FUN, take a step back and consider whether they are having THAT much fun. It is unlikely and unsustainable – nobody can party for 3 years and get a First!

So with all this going on we want you to think about next year and where you are going to live. If you are in allocated accommodation this year, you will not have had a choice about who you live with, moving into Y2 you can pick the group of people you want to live with.

So what to consider? Everyone is very friendly at the start of the year and during Freshers week; this gloss can wear off fairly quickly when sharing accommodation, particularly if your co tenants don’t have the same standards or expectations as you and the washing up is piling up. So how do you choose your next co tenants?

Here are a few handy hints and tips to consider:

  • Who do I want to live with? Single sex property, mixed gender? Can those you are considering be relied upon to pay their share of bills, clean up after themselves, study and sleep at reasonable times? Do you have similar interests? Do you have a similar outlook on life? Will ‘bants’ become irritating if you have to live with it?
  • How large is your group? The size of your group will inform the type of property you can consider.
  • Where do you want to live? Think about where you study and or work? Can you get to and from key places easily? Is there good public transport and can you afford it? What’s in the local areas? What about going for a night out?
  • Getting the right info! Unipol has offices in Leeds, Nottingham and Bradford and expert staff able to guide you through the process of finding the right place for you. In Leeds and Nottingham there are computers for students to search available properties. All our advice is FREE to students during house hunting.
  • Booking a viewing. Once you have found properties you are interested in, you need your favourite three. Go and book a viewing, you can view a maximum of three properties in one viewing. Staff who can give you information about the property, rent, bills and the local areas accompany viewings. Green Thumbs Up properties can be booked via the main office number. Properties with a red or blue thumbs up can be contacted directly to arrange viewings.
  • Sign on the dotted line! If you are happy with your choice you will be offered a Tenancy Agreement. This is all done on line and it is VERY IMPORTANT you read ALL the information before you sign, check the start and end dates, the rent and due dates and ensure you understand your responsibilities. Your Tenancy Agreement is a legal document and once signed is binding for the duration of the Tenancy.
  • Pay your deposit: This is not kept by Unipol but is held by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme.

 

Congratulations! That is it – done! Nothing more to do until move in day.

Good luck in finding your next year’s home! See you next month.