Freshers: It’s not too late to sort out your second-year housing
Here’s a guide on where to live and how to get a place there
Thanks to this pandemic, if you don’t get along with your current housemates then you are truly in an awful situation. You can’t befriend someone at a lecture and eventually become best pals with them, you can’t keep bumping into someone on a night out and eventually live with them- you’re stuck with the current housemates which is so annoying. But, words cannot express how much you are not alone in this boat.
To anyone out there stressing about finding housing for next year: It really isn’t too late to sort your second-year accommodation. You might be feeling anxious seeing that other’s sorted theirs out before Christmas, however, there is still time to get yourself sorted and ready for a brighter and (hopefully) Covid-free second year.
That you don't have to rush into finding a student house with people you barley know straight away! The houses won't run out! #nobodytoldme
— Lottie (@Lottie_1994_) November 24, 2014
The process of finding a second-year house, finding people to live with, and going to numerous viewings around different houses isn’t always as straightforward as it seems and is quite tedious. To help with that, here is a little guide to help you through the process of finding second-year housing by laying out the options of where to live, and then how to find a place there.
Where are your options to live?
The question of where to live comes down to the age-old debate of Kennsington, Smithdown, Georgian Quater, or the City Centre. These are by far the most popular student areas in Liverpool, although are arguably very different. Do you like being close to town? Do you like being in a busy student area? Do you like posing outside those snazzy Georgian Quarter houses? Decisions decisions.
Luckily for you, we have a more detailed article on the different places to live in Liverpool here.
Smithdown is located about 15 minutes on the bus away from campus, although you will have a great leg work out walking up Smithdown Road towards UoL.
Smithdown is the home to our beloved ASDA and Aldi which are just a stone’s throw away from one another, and typically has slightly bigger houses than those found in Kensington.
The students on smithdown are mental, not even a bit of chicken left in Asda
— courtney ní hAodha (@_courtneyts13) January 16, 2019
Smithdown is also home to the most famous student pub of them all, the Brookhouse. You’ll also find that Smithdown is by far the most densely populated student area in Liverpool, so a house party is never far away.
Kensington is right across the road from campus and rolling out of bed into lectures is heaven on a Monday morning when it’s raining.
Kensington is also home to a Mcdonald’s, making weekend hangovers that little bit more bearable. However, Kenny is notorious for having slightly smaller houses, so you might want to re-think if you planned on hosting pres each weekend.
#ifyouknowliverpool You will know that Huyton is called 'Two Dogs' and Scotland Road is 'Scottie Road' and Kensington is 'Kenny'..
— Alex (@alexyjanem) December 19, 2012
There is also a stereotype that Kensington is a slightly ‘rougher’ student area to live in, so best be prepared to double-check that front door at night.
By far the most attractive in terms of property and location is the Georgian Quater. With its old buildings and small cafés, it is perfect to show off on Instagram to your friends back home.
Georgian Quater is a mixture of students, residential houses, and small businesses, so while being close to town your less likely to have to worry about drunks screaming outside your window at 3 am on a Sunday night.
Lazy mornings in The Georgian Quarter ☕️♥️ pic.twitter.com/deaejrSYkj
— Soph (@sophierosie) August 21, 2018
However, the perfect location of the Georgian Quater comes at a price: Student houses are a lot more expensive than those found on Smithdown and Kensington so be prepared to pay for the privilege.
The City Centre is perhaps a better option for anyone thinking of staying in private accommodation or wanting to live in a flat as opposed to a house.
While you’ll never have to pay for a taxi or Uber home on a night out, be prepared to have to travel slightly further to see friends. Just because you don’t need the bus to get from A-Z, you’ll probably memorise the bus routes trekking into Smithdown for a social life.
Living in Liverpool city centre means going to sleep to ‘allez allez allez’, sung beautifully by drunken scousers. #liverpoollullaby
— bex (@bekahfreestone) May 24, 2018
Where can you find somewhere to live?
This really is an important part of life that most of us weren’t taught about in school. That is probably because finding a house and booking a viewing is incredibly simple, but the concept of house-hunting for the first time alone is pretty intimidating. Here are some sites Liverpool students use to find a house:
Liverpool Student Homes (LSH)
Liverpool Student Homes is probably the most-used site for finding student houses. Most independent landlords rent through the website and all of them have to be approved beforehand, so chances are you won’t have an annoying landlord to mess up your tenancy.
LSH also releases the properties in stages throughout the year, so there’s never a rush to try and find anything too quickly.
Rightmove is a close second for places to find student homes. Rightmove has student homes available across Liverpool and even has a handy map section so you can ensure that you secure a property in the heart of Smithdown, or Kenny if you’d rather.
Other agency websites
While each website will only post the houses they manage, this is a great way of ensuring that you have a solid property and not getting scammed by any cowboy landlord.
Who should you live with?
This is by far the most important thing to consider when looking for second-year housing. What’s the point in finding a great house if you don’t get along with your flatmates?
not me looking at uni houses for next year even though i’ve got nobody to live with
— chloe (@chloeleeuwerke) November 2, 2020
Don’t fix what isn’t broken; you already know each other’s bad habits and personalities, so let the fun continue for another two years.
This takes the pressure of worrying about whether you’ll have to spend second-year constantly doing other people’s washing up and cleaning up from the night before.
I see my flatmates have finished the second washing up liquid I’ve brought in the past two weeks and no one has brought another.
Very good, we will wash plates with the blood of our enemies.
— db 🖤 #BLM (@dbcxptures) November 10, 2020
Course and society mates
If you’ve had a chance to make friends beyond Zoom calls and Microsoft Teams, living with people from your course or societies is a great option for second-year housing.
You know you already have a lot in common, and not being on the same course means your house won’t be full of people crying at the same time with the same deadlines. It also means you’ll have a great base next year for AU night pres.
Smithdown Ticket Exchange
Issues with current flatmates? Not clicked with many people on your course? First-year is hard, and a lot of people don’t find their herd until later in the year which can make the aspect of finding second-year housing daunting.
However, there are tonnes of people looking for people to fill rooms. By adding yourself to the Smithdown Ticket Exchange Facebook page, you’ll find people trying to fill rooms with different numbers of people, areas of Liverpool, and budgets.
Cannot wait for the day when Smithdown ticket exchange actually consists of people buying & selling tickets
— kayleigh (@kjenkinsonx) January 14, 2021
If you ever feel like you’re stuck with a nasty flat or dreading moving back to Liverpool in September because you’re scared you’ll be alone, let this show you that you really aren’t alone in this situation. Who knows- maybe you’ll move in with absolute strangers who end up being your friend soulmates, or maybe you’ll meet another bunch of nasty people who’ll make you wonder why you never went for a studio. Consider this a very exciting, potentially life-changing lottery.