Choosing the right student accommodation can be stressful. It often feels like you have to rush around in October/November, trying to secure a house before they all get snapped up. Take it from us, there is plenty of accommodation to go around. Whilst getting it done earlier in the year can give you more options to choose from, you don’t want to find yourself signing a contract for a house you’re not happy with.
So, to help with the process, here is a brief checklist of things to consider when looking for your student accommodation in Lancaster:
The Housemate Conundrum
An incredibly important, and sometimes unbearably stressful, aspect of sourcing student accommodation is sorting out a group of people to live with. One of the biggest problems with student accommodation is how early students feel they need to find somewhere, so they often sign a contract for a house with people they’ve only known for a few weeks.
This is not enough time to assess whether you want to live with someone for a whole year. You may get lucky and remain close to these people for the rest of the year and become incredibly excited at the prospect of sharing a house together, but not everyone experiences this. Additionally, you may really like the people you sign a house with, but after moving in together you may find you are all completely incompatible when it comes to sharing a living space.
It’s near impossible to know what it’s like to live with someone until you do it. So, it’s worth sitting down with your prospective housemates and discussing everyone’s expectations for their student house. You may find that the people you like the most are the wrong people to share a house with, and if you expect this to be the case, it’s worth really considering whether you’d be better off going your separate ways when it comes to living arrangements.
Something that may have slipped your mind when it comes to choosing your accommodation is whether the housing company is accredited. As well as choosing the optimal location or the ideal sized bedroom, you should be keeping an eye out for the appropriate accreditations.
If you’re renting with a student housing company, they should be fully accredited to meet the government’s Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) guidelines and requirements. They ensure that a shared student house is kept to a reasonable living standard for students, with the local council having the authority to ensure that your student house meets these guidelines.
At Student Housing Lancaster, all of our managed properties are accredited and/or meet the government’s HMO guidelines. We try our best to go above and beyond minimum expectations in accordance with statutory guidelines.
Location, Location, Location
Where your student house is located will be one of the most important things to consider when you start your search. If you’re looking for student housing in Lancaster, then chances are you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of campus. However, your proximity to campus is an important factor to consider; after all, you will still be spending a lot of time there.
Are you going to be commuting in every day? You will need to consider transport. Are you going to cycle or walk in? Take the bus? If this is the case you will need to factor in the cost of an annual bus pass, or you could pay for tickets individually, it will all depend on what you’re studying and how many contact hours you have (and whether you realistically intend to attend all of your lectures).
If you drive, you may want to choose accommodation with on-street parking. Are you going to buy a campus parking permit or just pay for tickets? Also, you will need to make sure you contact your car insurance company and change your address to your student accommodation address.
Getting your ideal location will make your academic year much easier. If you intend to spend a lot of time in the city centre, a central location will be more suitable. Coordinate with your housemates and come up with your location requirements before you start your search to streamline the process.
How Much Rent
Rent costs can vary a lot between properties. You will need to set a budget for your upcoming year and work out what’s the most you can afford to spend on rent. Chances are you will want to find the cheapest option that still meets your requirements for a house. This may not be possible, or you may be living with a group of people who want to spend more than you’re comfortable with. Discuss rent early on with your housemates to find a compromise you’re all happy with. There are plenty of housing options available in a wide range of rent costs, so you should be able to find something suitable for you.
Not Enough Bathrooms
The number of rooms and amenities a house has is important; it can cause a lot of headache and annoyance down the line if you pick a house that only has one bathroom when one of your housemates seems to spend hours at a time in there. A house with only one bathroom will most likely be cheaper than one with two (with the same number of bedrooms) but if you foresee potential arguments and issues with your housemates over bathroom usage, it might be worth adding a second bathroom to your list of requirements when looking for a house.