student accommodation, when to start looking

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It is that time of year again. Christmas has been and gone and if you are still living in University Halls it is time to start looking for alternative student accommodation for when you return to uni after the summer break. September may seem like a long time away, but in terms of the academic year it will soon come round so you need to act now to secure the best deals and the best student properties available in the Nottingham area.

Landlords and Letting agencies will be working hard to attract your attention and draw you into signing up to a tenancy agreement with them. There are hundreds of student properties available in Nottingham and they will be keen to fill as many rooms as quickly as possible. So where should you begin your search? And who can you really trust for honest advice about renting student property?

Well your university will have loads of reliable information about the properties in your local area. They will be able to advise you on suitable locations, those that have good transport links for example and those areas that  are heavily populated by students therefore offering security and a sense of community. They will also be able to give you an idea of how much you should be paying for what and all the properties they recommend will comply with current unipol standards so you can be sure they are safe, lean and legal.

There are several letting agencies in Nottingham offering student accommodation. They will of course be promoting their own properties so bear that in mind when you contact them. They do however have to abide by strict guidelines aswell  though, so again the standard of properties on offer should be perfectly acceptable.

Do you research, talk to existing students about their experiences with various agencies, take your time but do not leave it until the last minute to make your choice. Prices can vary dramatically as can the facilities offered, read the small print so you are clear exactly what is included and hat will be charge as extra. You may have enjoyed the freedom of the last year or so without your parents but this may be a good time to call on them for advice, and perhaps to help with negotiations between you and the letting agencies. Especially if you are relying on them for financial help when you move.

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1st time student away from home

Living away from home for the first time? My friend there is a lot for you to learn! There are bills to pay, companies to chase, agreements to keep to and cleaning to be done! Where to start I hear you ask?

house partying

So for the purposes of this article I will assume that you already have your student accommodation lined up, I got mine sorted out through Shields Student Homes in Nottingham. For the first time, you will be living away from Mum and Dad and braving life in the real world all alone!

Excellent I hear you cry, no more chores, no more nagging. I will be free to party till dawn, celebrate my youth and enjoy the freedom that comes with living alone.

chilling with friends

Well, sadly, it’s not quite like that! Firstly, you will be studying – bear in mind that at some point you hope to have a degree with which to settle down when you want to do all that boring stuff like getting a job, getting married and eventually having kids. If you don’t put at least a fair amount of effort in now then you may not end up with that degree and will, instead, have 5 years of partying to put on your cv (not quite as attractive perhaps?)

Living along means chores are definitely not out. When your Mum asked you to make your bed and put the odd wash load on she was trying (perhaps in vain) to teach you about running a household and what goes into it. So hovering, mopping, cleaning the bathroom, doing the washing, ironing and cooking are very much in. Even if you split them between all of you in the household it will take some time and if you ignore it you’ll end up in a pigs sty and perhaps in trouble with your letting agents or landlord.

Food shopping is a new and exciting thing all together – you will be drawn to the alcohol aisle, crisps, chocolate and of course ready meals when you first venture into Tesco alone with your small budget that you have allocated for food shopping. This won’t last. Well it can’t really last – your body requires sufficient fuel to help it run and feeding it twixes and kitkats is not going to do the job – if you haven’t done so yet, ask your mum for some last minute cooking tips. It is indeed true that if you can cook yourself a roast chicken then you can survive alone (with this one meat, cooked in one way, you can make a roast dinner, salads, pasta, curry’s, pies, the list is endless!!)

So the key when living alone and renting (what is essentially somebody else’s house), you need to be aware that they want that house kept in a reasonable condition. Otherwise they will expect you to pay for the damage to it. So while mattress surfing down the stairs seems like a good idea after a few pints when 15 of your mates are egging you on, when your landlord wants you to pay to replace the banisters and that means you can’t afford to eat for a month, it may not seem like quite such a good idea! You need to respect the property you are RENTING just as you did your parents home – hopefully this will help you to avoid any large property damage fees at the end of your contract (when your landlord will walk around the house and check for damage!)

Student years are supposed to be fun but you also need to be sensible – there are many things you will discover when you first live alone (the loo roll doesn’t replace itself and fridges aren’t self-filling) but you will, no doubt, enjoy the experience and learn some quite useful information on the way.

Useful Links:

http://www.unipol.org.uk/home  Unipol website all about student living

http://www.ntu.ac.uk/ Nottingham Trent University

http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/ The University Of Nottingham