firstpointFIVE019: New Accommodation Hunt

Every Monday, firstpoint publishes our top five tips on a topic related to life at university. We’ll cover a wide range of topics such as making the most of your time at university, help with your studies, working through the challenges of communal living or maybe looking after yourself during exams and assessments.

fpFIVE019 title.jpgfirstpointFIVE019 – New Accommodation Hunt

tip-01Tip 1: Know where to look

We have a variety of resources to help you find the perfect accommodation. At the Housing Fair, hosted by the Accommodation Team and the Students’ Union in the Hangar in January, you can meet accredited landlords, potential housemates and get general advice on house hunting.

You can also use our StudentPad website to search for properties online, post and send messages to other students also looking for housing. Go to and sign up for an account using the password that you can collect at firstpoint and the Housing fair.

tip-02Tip 2: Plan the cost

We would recommend that you check whether your rent will include your utilities – water, gas and electricity. Some agreements will cover these but you may need to budget for these separately. There may also be other hidden costs like internet and TV licences. You will probably want to make sure that you have a good connection in order to access all of the University’s online services or chat to friends and family back home and that the cost won’t be too much. Talk to your landlord to see if it is included, or if switching to a cheaper provider is possible.

tip-03Tip 3: Think about the location

Location, location, location! Are you going to be at lectures up on the St. John’s Campus or mainly based in our city sites? Think you might spend a lot of time using the social learning spaces at Riverside or hitting the books in the Hive? Consider where you will need to be based for easy access to lectures or whether you mind travelling between locations.

Perhaps you will be criss-crossing between places- remember we have the 31 first bus route. This route takes you from the city centre bus station straight to the St. John’s Campus-either the main gate or at the Students’ Union bus stop.

You can find details of the route, timetable and prices online here.

tip-04Tip 4: Make time to visit

It is a good idea to visit prospective houses to get a feel for the property and the area. You can also use the visit to make sure there are no major issues. Go with your new housemates, consider who is going to get which room and how you will make a fair decision- drawing straws, flip a coin, calling shotgun?

Don’t forget when you move in that you will be living in a residential community area, so be mindful of your neighbours. Take the time to pop in, say hello and introduce yourself. We promise it will make living in the community much easier and will help you settle in.

tip-05Tip 5: Check the contract

Accommodation keys.jpgOnce you have found your ideal house, make sure you check over your contract, confirm how your deposit will be held and make sure the gas safety certificates are in place. The Students’ Union website has more information about these matters.

You can also book an appointment with the Accommodation Team, via firstpoint, and they will go through the finer details of the contract with you.