The Scourge of The For Let Sign

Luke O’Brien reckons that only mugs look for houses before Christmas.

It’s panic time, students all over Southampton are whipping themselves into a frenzy over their impending homelessness. We’ve all got the flyers and leaflets crammed through our doors, with one nameless company proclaiming “90% of our properties let before December” I have a major problem with this. The facts are simple: Southampton has a surplus of student housing, most of the agencies are desperate to claw £100 off you in “finders fees” and the majority of houses are shit anyway.

It happens every year; overzealous freshers sign up to live with the first bunch of people they can in the first property they look at at some point in November. Then fast-forward 6 months. Of let’s say 8 people, 2 have awkwardly hooked up and can’t be in the same room together; another 2 have shacked up permanently and the PDA has become unbearable; 5 are still pretty tight friends but one has got new buddies and disappears off all day. It didn’t quite happen to me but I know of lots of cases just like that.

Right now up my street, not located in the Portswood ghetto incidentally, every other house has a For Let sign up. I think instead of this, the letting agencies should put up a big banner saying “BURGLE THIS HOUSE” My house was broken into on the last night of autumn term last year when I was the last one in, probably by some crackhead. The police said they’d never find who did it. These letting agencies are pretty much advertising easy targets for Southampton’s criminal underclass

My advice: wait. Wait until February when you’re more settled into Southampton. Wait until you know who your real mates are. I waited til Easter last year and have secured a great house on a 9 month contract, saving myself a cool 1000 pounds. Just remember that landlords need tenants, make them sweat and get the best deal!

One last thing: live in Portswood when you’re a second year, it’s great! The grime and glamour of the “brown mile” is fun for a year, then move up to quiet Highfield afterwards so you can actually do some work!

For more housing horrors check this out. Click here for last year’s landlord survey