It’s that time again. Housing conversations start to creep up on us earlier and earlier every year, and love it or loathe it, it’s got to be done. For some of us, it can be fun preparing for another year of living with friends. For others, this time is filled with awkward conversations and friendship group politics. Well, whatever camp you belong to, don’t panic: here, we have outlined ten things to make this process as easy as possible.
It can be easy to get ahead of yourself and rush into a house with people who you met on the first day and who you swore would be your best friends forever. There are loads of houses available which all go on the market at different times. If you aren’t ready to do housing and feel like you haven’t met your people, that is so fine! Houses continue to be staggered onto agency websites, with lots being released after Christmas, so there’s no need to panic.
Don’t let other people rush you
This is far easier said than done. It is easy to get swept up by the madness and feel like everyone is talking about housing and if you don’t do it now you will be left behind. This is not the case, keep your cool and do it when you are ready.
Don’t live with your partner or couples
It may seem like a good idea, or you may feel that you cannot possibly live without them. But the probability of you breaking up is quite high (sorry!), which could result in a really uncomfortable living situation. You’ve probably heard of people who have lived with their partner at university, and it all worked out and now they are beyond happy. These people are the exception, not the rule! Even if you don’t break up, there can be other complications. For many people, it makes the relationship too intense and can be very overwhelming. I would recommend living separately for a healthier lifestyle.
The same goes for couples. You don’t want to be a few months into your tenancy and not feel comfortable coming home. Nor do you want to have to pick sides if all goes to hell.
Pick people who are easy to live with
Your housemates do not have to be your best friends, and sometimes it’s actually easier if they aren’t. Pick people who are easy to live with and have similar cleanliness levels to you. You will still see your friends that you don’t live with all the time.
To see if people have the same expectations as you, see if you share similar lifestyles. Are they messy? Social? Regularly host parties? Do they take out the bins? Hang out at potential housemates’ current accommodation to get a feel for how they live and see if it works with your lifestyle.
Don’t go too big
It can seem like a great idea and a way of including everyone to sign for a massive house. But trust me, in the long run, splitting a big group into two smaller groups is a good idea. Firstly, there are fewer houses for big groups so it will be easier to get a house that you like. Furthermore, whilst living with nine other people seems like fun, imagine nine other people’s mess all the time!
Make sure that your landlord is credible
You will have heard the rumours, and they are authentic, a lot of landlords suck! Helpfully UoM and MMU have set up Manchester Student Homes, a website where you can check the credibility of your future landlord to ensure that they are legitimate. Whilst this site is helpful, still do your diligence and take pictures of your room when you first move in to avoid losing your deposit. Top tip: if you get a chance, try asking the current tenants at the viewing how the landlord has been.
Live near a bus stop
When it comes to where you should live there are many options. Most people choose Fallowfield, the UoM student hub. For some more info, you can check out our guide to Manchester’s student suburbs to get some advice on the best area for you. Wherever you choose to live, live near a bus stop! Don’t make life harder for yourself by adding another ten minutes to your commute in the morning.
Give the house a chance
Upon viewings, it can be easy to judge a house by the tenants that currently live there. Give the house a chance: think of it clean, and look at the foundations. Is it spacious? Does it have wooden floors? Does it have a dishwasher? Try not to be swayed by the state that you see at the viewing.
As everyone is all too aware, Fallowfield is not the safest place. However, most house-related robberies are not heists and are usually just petty crimes because a door wasn’t locked or the window was open. Ask the landlord about the locks on the doors, the safety of the windows, and the burglar alarm.
With all this in mind, I wish you all the best! House hunting can be stressful, but try and think of it as a fun activity as you look forward to another year which holds new and exciting memories!