Top five tips for Liverpool students looking to rent next year

So you’ve found your future housemates, now what?

Increasingly depressing weather, chronic freshers flu, a permanent hangover… oh yes, it’s that time of year again when students also have to start deciding where they’re going to live for the next academic year.

Whether you’re a first year seeking an 11-bed house to fit in all your new course mates, or a third year craving some peace for their Masters, we’ve devised some wizened advice on things to look out for when choosing your next home.

1. Go to house viewings with EVERYONE you plan to live with

Although it sounds like obvious advice, it can be quite tempting to sack off going to house viewings because you’re too hungover.

Honestly, there’s nothing worse than turning up to a house you’ve already signed for, and realising that your housemates “didn’t notice” the massive patch of black mould in the downstairs bedroom. Which also happens to be your bedroom now.

2. Do a bit of research on your agency/landlord

Remember that makeshift sign in the ground floor girl’s toilets in the Sydney Jones library (on the back of the left hand cubicle door) that just turned into a place to vent about housing agencies?

It went *mysteriously* missing at the end of last year, so don’t worry if you have never seen the golden advice it had on it.

Instead, dig about on Smithdown Ticket Exchange for good (and bad) reviews of the agency or landlord you plan on renting from. Have a stalk on LinkedIn or Facebook too!

3. Think about how close it is to essential amenities

Living anywhere within breathing distance of the big Smithdown Asda and Aldi is a fantastic move (cheap weekly shops without lugging groceries back down Garmoyle Road in the rain!)

However, if you are planning to commute by bus for your 9ams, think about how busy the 86 gets in the morning as the entire population of Smithdown crams onto it before you.

Also it’s good to consider your potential house’s proximity to other essential amenities, such as: a pub, an off-license, a green space and/or a takeaway.

4. Ask loads of questions at your viewing

Again, pretty obvious advice. But many a student has been caught out before. Ask your viewing agent or landlord:

  • Are the bills included? Are they capped? Will it be your responsibility to top it up using a meter card?
  • Are the neighbours other students or are they local residents?
  • How much is the deposit? Will you get it back once you’ve moved in or is it held over the tenancy for damages?
  • Can you use blu-tac on the walls?
  • Does the carbon monoxide alarm work? Is all the fire safety equipment working?
  • How much will you charge to attend the property for an out-of-hours emergency, like losing your keys? (Trust me, it can get expensive if you’re as forgetful as me…)

5. Don’t leave it until May to sign for somewhere

You may think it’s too soon to start looking for houses or flats, especially if you’ve only just started uni. Of course we’re not suggesting you NEED to decide your future housemates straight away, but don’t wait until the summer to start looking. Student houses book up quickly and you really do want to avoid having to trawl through Smithdown Ticket Exchange, praying there’s a spare house available somewhere.

We hope no one has a rubbish time looking for houses this year, and fingers crossed, if you follow this advice you’ll end up with the home of your dreams…