Don’t sign a contract for a house until after Christmas, Sheffield SU warns students

‘Once you’ve signed a contract, it’s really difficult to get out of it’

Sheffield University students are being urged to hold fire on house-hunting until after Christmas.

The Students’ Union Welfare Officer, Holly Ellis, said that landlords had been given the power to increase rent to “extortionate prices” and holding out on signing could drive costs down.

She also pointed to the city’s surplus amount of student housing and the pandemic stopping students from meeting potential flatmates.

“This year we think it’s even more important to encourage students to take time to sign. We don’t want them to feel obliged to sign for a house with their flatmates just because they haven’t had the chance to really get to know many other students.

“Once you have signed a contract, it is really difficult to get out of it. We really don’t want students to end up stuck in contracts they don’t want,” Ellis told Forge.

The SU’s housing fair has been pushed back from November to February to try and encourage students to wait on buying a house.

“Signing for a house is definitely not a matter of urgency, especially not in semester one during a pandemic. We all need to work together to bust the myth that you need to sign early for a good house, as the evidence suggests otherwise.

“I don’t think it’s helpful to suggest there is competition for housing in Sheffield, it just isn’t the case and leads to a situation that can scare students into making big financial decisions.”

Featured image credit: Sheffield SU

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