Listen up freshers: Here’s a guide to renting in Notts, from a third year student

Ever heard of the Lenton Triangle?

We’ve all been there, trying our best to navigate housing websites whilst simultaneously trying to crack the code that is estate agent jargon in their house descriptions. What does a generously sized room even mean?

Everyone just wants to find the best house for them. A house that suits their needs. But that’s easier said than done.

So, here are some tips that will put you on the right track to finding a semi-decent student house to call home.

Oh, to have a clean kitchen

Read estate agent reviews

Estate agents tend to have a bit of a reputation, but student letting agents can be a different breed entirely.

You’d like to think that they’re all looking out for us and want to help us navigate the daunting process of renting what is likely to be your first shared house. And lots do. But I would definitely check their reviews before signing. It’s worth it. Take it from me.

Choose your housemates wisely

Some people decide their housemates in Fresher’s Week. Others find housemates last minute on Facebook. I wouldn’t advise either. I’d encourage you to spend your first two months sleeping off your hangover and carefully considering who you’d like to live with.

There’s no unwritten rule saying you should live with one gender. Nor is there anything wrong with choosing housemates based on who you get on with sober rather than drunk.

Living with friends can be quite intense and not even the lock on your door can stop you from spending 24/7 together, regardless of if you’re an introvert or not.

Good house vibes are key

Write a checklist of what you want

Once you’ve decided who you want to live with, my best advice is to write an accumulative list regarding what you all want from your house. Discuss the things you think are important and equally question the things you could manage to live without.

You’ll have to compromise. Not every room will be the same size and it’s very rare to have an en-suite. (I’m sorry if halls have convinced you otherwise.) You’ll have to think about things you’ve never thought of before, like if it’s better to have a tumble dryer that is separate from the washing machine or how inconvenient a singular bathroom is on the ground floor of a three-story house.

I will say this though – a dining table is pretty key. If it’s not for eating dinner it’s needed for beer pong.

An intact ceiling seems pretty essential

Don’t be fooled by the photos

Nothing is a replacement for seeing somewhere in real life. Trust me.

Take yourself and all of your housemates along with you to view each house and take some of your own pics for reference before you decide where to put your deposit.

View multiple properties

Your first choice isn’t necessarily the best one. With your photos in your camera roll, you’ll easily be able to compare your top two, or even top three houses.

The market is competitive, too. For all you know a rival friendship group could be putting their deposit down whilst you’re busy checking out the state of the basement. At least if you view options you won’t be too disappointed should your new bedroom layout not fit the one you’d designed for yourself on Pinterest.

At least it’s big

Get to know the Lenton Triangle

If you know anyone in second or third year, you’ll have heard of The Triangle. It’s a literal triangle encompassing the roads on Lenton where everyone tends to live.

It’s up to you and your housemates to decide whether it’s worth living inside it or not. Your walk to campus will be about 20 minutes if you live in the triangle and being there will mean you’ll just be another one of us in the queue for Sainsbury’s Local.

It’s convenient and means you’ll live within walking distance to any of your friends should you need to cry over coursework or your ex whilst watching another shitty romcom.

Welcome to the Lenton life

Check the bills

Some houses are bills included. This means the landlord will kindly sort the hassle of researching the prices for yourself. Who knew you had to pay for so many different, boring things?

If you love finding a deal, bills not included might be for you. It might save you money.

Sort it sooner rather than later

Houses in Notts, especially Lenton, tend to get secured faster than Crisis tickets when they’re first released. It really is best to stay on top of things.

This is your sign to nominate the most efficient member of your group to get going with housing research, so you aren’t living in Derby when September comes.

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