The Dos and Don’ts of searching for a student house in Liverpool
Tips and tricks to get you through the house hunting period
Semester one is drawing to a close, and if you haven't sorted out your accommodation for next year yet you might be feeling a little bit anxious about it all.
However, all is not lost – there's plenty of time for you to find the perfect house for your time in Liverpool, be it long or short! Here's our advice for last-minute house hunting:
Location is EVERYTHING
There's many different student areas in Liverpool. From city centre, to Kensington to Smithdown. Recognising your priorities is a MUST.
Do you want to be close to uni and the centre if you want to pay a little more (usually for less space)? Do you want to be able to walk to uni, usually meaning you might want to look for places in Kensington fields? Or, do you want to be in probably the most student-y (and cheap) area of Smithdown with little coffee shops and the Brookhouse?
Know your housemates
Deciding who to live with can be a tough decision, especially this early in the year. If you are a Fresher it can feel like you have only been at uni for about a week, but ages all at the same time. Don't stress yourself out too much as the decision you make will always turn out well.
Try not to take too long though as houses can go quick! So if anyone is messing you around be straight with them, and if you're the unsure one, don't beat around the bush. Telling your friends what's happening may work out in your favour as may might be in the same boat!
What's your budget?
Deciding how much you and your friends want to pay weekly can be a tricky one. Uni brings so many different kinds of people together from different backgrounds, meaning each person will have a different situation regarding money. Make sure you're sensitive to this!
The usual prices for houses can range from around £75-£115 depending on the location of your house and how modern it is. In the city centre there will obviously be places more on the expensive size, but they'll be smaller, like flats.
Kensington and Smithdown houses range from pretty cheap to rather spenny places, so the options are yours! Try to have an open mind, as some of the cheaper properties may surprise you.
Arranging house viewings and attending them can seem like a chore, but seeing as many houses with a range of prices will help you understand what your priorities are for a house.
Do you need a dishwasher? How many bathrooms would you need? How modern do you need the house to be? And, really HOW big does the smallest bedroom need to be?
Booking viewings with multiple housing companies is also a great way to see how the companies work and what their usual prices are. Some of the most commonly used companies in Liverpool are MGM, Condor properties, Open Rent, ARW Solutions and Liverpool Student Housing! Seeing a range of properties means when you are looking for a house for the next year, you'll have a way better understanding of all these things as well!
Bills, Bills, Bills
Make sure when you're viewing houses you ask as many questions as you can think of (the person showing you round will be used to this). Knowing your rights and exactly what is allowed or not in your contract is VERY important.
The age old tale of student landlords taking the mick still goes on all the time, so understanding your contract and pointing out anything that looks fishy is important! Try not to be too cheeky though as they'll be able to find some new tenants whenever they want!
Going into the new year, we hope you find the perfect house for whatever stage of uni you're at. But, if you end up with something you're not too keen on, just remember it's only for a year and you'll still be living in the greatest city on earth!