Six top tips for securing next year's accommodation

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It’s that time of year where you will be thinking about where you want to live for your next year whilst studying at university. We understand that these can be stressful times, whether you’re looking for the perfect location, deciding who you want to live with or thinking about the cheapest rent - so we are here to give you tips and advice to secure your perfect accommodation and help you make informed choices.

Tip 1: Don’t rush!

We know it feels like all of the good accommodation is going to be snatched up quickly, but you have more time than you realise and it’s better to take your time to find the best accommodation that suits you. Remember, when you sign a tenancy agreement, this is a legally binding contract so it’s not as simple as changing your mind.

Tip 2: Take your time on deciding who you want to live with.

If you already have an idea of who you’d like to live with, that’s great! Drop a few hints and ask if they have any plans - if you feel awkward, maybe just send them a message instead! Equally, if there’s someone in the group who you don’t want to live with, try to keep an open mind. If they’re tidy and reliable and living with them means living with your best friends, it might be worth it.

Tip 3: Choose an accredited landlord!

It’s easy to be sucked into a nice-looking property without looking closely at the quality of the property. The University of Derby operates an accredited landlord scheme to ensure the landlords they promote are providing good quality accommodation. The University will also support you if any issues arise.

Tip 4: Prepare a checklist of must-have questions for when you’re viewing properties.

This is essential for ensuring you have the best accommodation that suits you. You should ask what’s included in the property too - just because the photos show you have a washing machine and microwave, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are included. If you’re struggling to think of questions, we’ve put together a check list of questions to ask to ensure you find your dream home.

Tip 5: Read your contract carefully!

Is it a joint tenancy agreement for the whole property or an individual contract for each housemate? Remember, if it’s a joint tenancy agreement, you could be liable if your housemate doesn’t pay their share of the rent in your household. You can book an appointment with our advice service for a contract check appointment where are our advisor will review your contract and you can query anything you are unsure about.

Tip 6: Be honest with yourself about your budget.

Before you start looking, decide how much you and your chosen housemates can afford. You also need to think about the hidden costs. So, find out what deposit is required, if there is an agency fee, whether bills are included or if you need to find a separate supplier. If bills aren’t included, you could always shop around to find the cheapest deals.

Overall, it’s essential that you find somewhere that’s going to make you feel safe and happy. Stand strong in what you want in a property and don’t give in to peer pressure. If your housemates want somewhere that you don’t feel comfortable with, speak up and see if you can find somewhere that suits you all. It may seem daunting and stressful but remind yourself that it will only be for a year and you will find somewhere - just persevere, it’s all part of the experience. Enjoy house hunting!!

Halls - your home from home

To book an appointment with an advisor to discuss any housing queries; Use our online appointment system, call us on 01332 591507, or email us at


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