When to start looking for student accommodation?
Ahhh… the eternal question: when should you begin your search for next year’s student accommodation?
Start your hunt too soon and it’ll be slim pickins – likewise, if you leave it too late. When it comes to finding your perfect student housing, timing is everything, which is why we’ve created a useful timeline to help you along your way.
What to do between January to March?
If you’re an eager beaver, start scouting out potential areas of interest early on in the year. Read up on some popular areas in your town or city or failing that, just ask other students – past or present – for some tips. The Student Room, UCAS or our very own Facebook Page is a great way to connect with other students if you need advice.
Bear in mind that word of mouth and Google Maps can only take you so far; nothing replaces the impression you’ll get from exploring on foot. Plan a recce to popular neighbourhoods to get a feel for the area. Where’s your local newsagent or supermarket and how late does it stay open? Also, what are the transport links to the University like?
For extra brownie points, identify a short list of streets and cul-de-sacs where you could see yourself living. Keep your ear to the ground about any third-year students living in these areas – chances are they’ll be looking to vacate their student housing before the next academic year.
Once you’ve got a feel for which areas you want to move to, it’ll focus your search come summer.
…and then between April and August?
Now the fun really begins. July and August are the peak months for viewings since most landlords will be advertising for tenants for the new academic year. However, these months can also be very busy, with rooms and houses often snapped up within the first initial viewings – so you’ll have to keep your wits about you to secure next year’s accommodation.
For a more peaceful ride, register for property alerts around April or May, this way you’ll be the first to know when a room or property in your favourite area crops up.
What if I’m too late?
Hopefully, if you’ve followed our advice, by the time the summer term ends you’ll be sorted for next year’s accommodation. However, if you haven’t been able to find anything that fits the bill by then, don’t worry – you won’t be cast out on the streets.
Although securing an entire house or flat might be a tall order this late on (although not impossible – check our latest property listings), you should be able to find a room in a shared house, even when your Michaelmas term begins.
If you find yourself in this position, get in touch with Student Places immediately. Even if there’s nothing currently available, we’ll alert you as soon as there is.
For more advice that’s tailored to your own situation, Student Places are open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Pop in anytime for a coffee and a chat.