Siobhan from our Advice & Money team tells us more about student housing and gives her 3 tips on choosing carefully …
It’s that time of year where you can’t miss the to-let signs up around Cathays and Roath advertising properties for next year. Some of your flat mates in halls or friends on your course may have already signed for a house for next year and you are now in a panic to find your dream home. STOP! Don’t panic, there is no rush! There is plenty of accommodation in Cardiff for your standard 3,4 or 5 bedroom properties. Here are some tips to help you before you start looking for your home for next academic year.
Tip 1. Choose carefully who to live with
You might want to live with people who you are currently living with. They might be good cooks, clean up after themselves, good fun to be around and supportive if you need them. Or you could be living with the messiest, noisiest person you have ever met who also doesn’t clean up after themselves and there is no way you could live with them.
Maybe someone from your course who has similar interests to you and whose company you enjoy is the option for you.
Or maybe you mix and match the two. If so try to find out from others what they are like to live with, have they got any bad habits that you need to know about?
Don’t rush into anything, get to know people first. A 12 month contract can feel like a life time when you’ve signed with the wrong person.
Tip 2. Ask yourself: can I afford it?
It’s all too easy to get carried away and agree to a contract without working out the cost. Everyone else is saying yes, let’s go for it but you know your money is tight, be brave and explain you need to look at your finances before committing to a contract.
If there are 5 of you sharing you could all be receiving different amounts of student finance, so what some can afford others may not.
Before you start viewing properties complete a budget so you know what you can and can’t afford.
Tip 3. Discuss as a group what you all want
We’ve all got our wish list of what we want from our student house, the big bedroom with an en suite (but what if there’s only 1?) plasma TV, Washing machine, dishwasher, bath not just a shower the list is endless. Where do you want to live close to lectures, city centre, SU, your favourite takeaway? These are all things that everyone needs to discuss. It will be a test of your negotiation skills.
You’ve decided on all the above and you’ve found your dream student house. Check out the housing timeline to find out what to do when. Your Welfare Officer Kate also gives her experiences and tips in this House Hunting video.
There are a number of letting agents, so shop around, check out the fees they charge for finding you a property, and don’t forget to add that to your budget. Cardiff Student Lettings in the Students Union does not charge a fee for finding you a property.
Visit as many properties as you can. Make sure it’s in good condition, everything’s in working order and speak to the students who are there now about how they found things. If you can all afford the rent and have all made the decision that you want that house before signing on the dotted line visit your Students’ Union and get your contract checked by Student Advice
For more tips see our Student Housing Hunting Guide.
Contact the Advice and Money Team
The Advice and Money Team are here for you if you have any questions or queries about housing, please get in contact with us: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 029 2087 4844 or call into the Student Support Centre at 50 Park Place.
Siobhan, Advice & Money Team
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The Student Support Centre has a range of services dedicated to helping students make the most of their time at University, including: Advice & Money, Careers & Employability, Counselling, Health & Wellbeing, Disability & Dyslexia and International Student Support.
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