Student Housing: When Should I Start Looking for Student Accommodation?

Looking for a student house this year? There are a growing number of freshers feeling anxious about securing their first private let for the next academic year, with 49% of students in the northwest feeling as if they need to start looking for housing as early as November. However, we at Chester Student Lets believe you can beat the rush, and avoid being pressured into rash decisions at the same time.

We’ve written a guide on when you should start looking for student houses in Chester, and what to look for, so you can go into the search prepared, and with a clear head.

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When should I be looking for student accommodation?

Well, the short answer is: as soon as possible. But looking and signing are two different things. Whilst we at Chester Lets don’t recommend jumping at the first place you see, it is important to start your search early, especially if you aren’t familiar with the area you are moving to.

What is the student accommodation situation like in January?

January is when a lot of private halls become available. During this time of year you’ll find that private lets are thinner on the ground, but this is great reconnaissance time. Get a feel for the neighbourhoods you like, and the areas that are typically student friendly.

What is the student accommodation situation like in February to June?

This is the ideal time to be out looking for student lets, as there are lots of housing fairs going on, and more student houses become available during this time of year. You won’t feel the panic of running out of time, and you will be able to see multiple options. Most importantly, you will be able to go home and have a good think before signing any contracts.

What is the student accommodation situation like in the summer?

This is where it gets a little Game-of-Thrones-y. You’ll find that this is when many more places become available, and you’ll see a much larger amount of student houses in Chester being advertised, but this is also a very busy period, and houses get snapped up quickly during this time of year.

However, if you are forced to wait until the summer to secure your place, this is where all your reconnaissance missions will come in handy. If you know the area, whether the rent is set at a good market rate, and the rental reports are good, you can bag it with no backward glances (and beat the competition).

What is the student accommodation situation like in September?

We’re sure by this time you’re already decorating your room with posters and putting together your shiny new IKEA purchases, but if not, don’t worry, you may be more limited in what you can find, but there are always spare rooms available. Plus, it’s kind of our job to make sure students find the perfect houses, so give us a call if you need help.

What do I need to be thinking about when looking for student accommodation?

Right now it’s important to research a few things when looking for student accommodation, namely:

• Neighbourhoods
• Rental prices
• Types of rental houses
• Potential roommates

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1. Researching the city’s neighbourhoods

Are you keen to be a 5 minute stroll to the uni or would you rather be closer to the downtown area of your city? Is the neighbourhood safe? What are the transport connections like? And vitally: is there a greasy spoon around the corner to nurse your hangover in?

2. Researching rental prices

Knowing what the average rental price of a room is in your uni town is really important. It will help you figure out whether you can afford to live with just your best mate from halls, or whether you need to join an 88 person house-share. It’ll also help you determine which area you should rent in (as generally the closer to a city’s centre you are, the more expensive the rent).

3. Know the different types of rental houses

Are you after a flat or a large house? Do you want a place that is as modern as possible, or one that is a little rough around the edges so you don’t feel anxious every time you drop you tea on the carpet? Is it important that you have your own bathroom, or are you happy to share? Do you like to cook, and if so, is a small kitchen a deal breaker? Check out all the different options, so you have a few ideas in mind of what you like (and what you don’t) when you start looking.

4. Scout out potential roommates

We recommend that if you want to live with friends you start talking to them and learning what their expectations are for where they’d want to live now, so you can start looking together and organising a guarantor. However, if you’re not sure you want to live with the toilet roll thief from Floor 3, never fear, sometimes going in on a houseshare with local students can mean making a whole host of new friends.

If you’re still looking to secure your perfect student home, check out all of our available houses now.