Seven things you should know before renting your second year house in Nottingham

Be careful or you might regret some life choices next year


October is officially over and the excitement of Halloween has come to a close; all the while winter looms. For freshers, it’s an awkward time to begin thinking about your housing situation for the next year. The dust should have hopefully settled and the uncomfortable conversations with friends, people you’re currently living with and course mates regarding this topic shall have been had.

It’s not all doom and gloom, and there are some ways to make sure you can secure the best student house, whether that’s in Beeston or Lenton. Here are all the ways to make sure you can secure a banging student house:

Decide where you want to live

First things first after working out who you want to live with, the second most important thing has to be location. Lenton, Beeston, as well as Dunkirk are the most obvious areas to live in in a house for second-year. Some choose to live in the city centre as well. Whether you’re an avid attendee of 9am lectures or your contact hours throughout the week are far and few between, location should be a deciding factor as it determines how far your commute to campus will be.

Don’t be afraid of going against the wave, everyone knows Lenton is where most Notts students prefer to live as it is more lively and social but if that’s not for you then don’t hesitate to go for another option – it’s easier to make your decision now then regretting your life later down the line.

Bills inclusive or without

As with the rest of the UK, Nottingham can get extremely cold in the winter so if you have a weak immune system; inclusive bills might be the better option for you. It also saves any uncomfortable conversations with that one housemate that will make you live in the dark just to save the pennies.

It may actually be cheaper to do bills yourself though, it’s easier to see what you are spending and how to cut down. It’s also worth mentioning that some properties don’t give you the option, so it really depends if it’s worth getting that place you really want despite the extra fuss of sorting your bills out yourself.

Landlords versus letting agencies

Another thing to consider when renting a house is who you want the property to be managed by. There are pros and cons when it comes to both landlords and letting agencies, but if there are any issues with the house you end up living in; having good relations with the people who are managing it is very important.

House viewings

This is probably the most exciting and awkward part of the housing process. You may come across some very questionably kept student houses and if any of your viewings are in the early morning, chances are you will walk into houses with hungover students buried under their duvets after a night out and kitchens that look like they’re about to throw up.  Nonetheless, it’s important to take loads of photos and videos for future reference and to get a good idea of every house you’re interested in. Ask plenty of questions and don’t be nervous – we’ve all been in the same position.

Deciding on rooms

This is another annoying conversation to be had, but it must be done. Whether it be spin the wheel or whoever has organised the most house viewings, delegating rooms between everyone is not a clear cut task. If it’s between the ground floor room or the claustrophobic box, there is always going to be some discord on whose room is whose. My advice would be to have something in writing once the rooms are decided to prevent any further disagreements.

Actually read your tenancy agreement

I know it’s a boring and tedious thing to do, but reading your contract will take you literally five minutes. To ensure that you aren’t being majorly screwed over, look over your contract at least once and if there’s anything you don’t like then you still have the opportunity fix it. Pro tip would be to ask your friend who studies law to look over everything for you.

Talk to previous tenants

Viewing a house for 15 minutes is nothing is like living there for an entire year, so talking to people who are currently living there cannot be emphasised enough. Talking to other students is the best way to get clear, transparent answers on any questions you might have. If it’s mould or a leak in the ceiling, they will be able to tell you honestly if the landlord has been helpful or responsive to fixing issues in the house.

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