You can read more about house-hunting below.
Remember that the Student Advice and Support Service offers a contract checking service and we encourage you to get your contract checked before you sign.
What type of accommodation are you looking for?
Private rented accommodation
Accommodation can vary in type (a house or a flat/apartment), and in size. You will have your own bedroom and share communal areas such as the living room, kitchen and the bathroom. You will either have a joint or individual contract, which is likely to be an Assured Short-hold Tenancy agreement (AST). You should be aware of the implications of signing a contract before you commit yourself – please see ‘Contracts’ section. Accommodation is normally fully furnished but you are expected to provide your own bedding and towels and often smaller domestic items (desk light, iron, kettle, toaster). Check what is supplied when you view the property.
Halls of residence
Loughborough University has 17 halls of residence both catered and self-catered. A range of different room types are available and you can find this information at www.lboro.ac.uk/services/accommodation/halls/.
Private halls of residence
There are a number of private student apartment blocks providing single and shared accommodation. These are owned by private landlords and are not linked to Loughborough University Halls of Residence. There are approved private halls of residence at Loughborough University London. You can find further information on these here https://www.lborolondon.ac.uk/study/before-you-arrive/accommodation/
This involves living in your landlord’s home and sharing the accommodation with them. You may have your own room, but you will need to follow their rules. It is important to consider this carefully, as lodgers have very few legal rights and can be easily evicted.
Where to find accommodation in Loughborough
Halls of residence
If you want to live in halls of residence on campus, apply through the Student Accommodation Centre www.lboro.ac.uk/services/accommodation
Private rented accommodation
If you wish to rent off campus then we strongly advise you visit Studentpad which is managed by the Student Accommodation Centre (SAC). All properties advertised on this site:
1. have been inspected by SAC
2. are accredited by Decent and Safe Homes (DASH) Landlord Accreditation
3. meet the standards set in partnership with Charnwood Borough Council. For information regarding the accreditation standards please refer to the DASH website: www.dashservices.org.uk
Marks Out of Tenancy
LSU have teamed up with Marks Out of Tenancy www.marksoutoftenancy.com to enable you to see how previous students have rated
Accommodation may be found by word of mouth or via social media. Get as much information as possible and view the accommodation yourself.
Some places are rented directly from the landlord and others are let through a letting agency. Letting agents can’t charge you fees for:
- credit and immigration checks
- renewing your contract
- The only fees you can be charged for will be:
- the cost of replacing a key if you lose one
- if you are more than 14 days late with your rent
- if you want to change your tenancy or bring it to an end
Letting agents must advertise their fees before you enter into any agreement. They should be clearly displayed on their website and in their offices.
The National Trading Standards have produced a leaflet on Tenant Fees and how it can affect you and your tenancies. Take a look at their leaflet here:- https://www.bristol.gov.uk/documents/4647215/0/V7_TSSW+A5+FLYER.pdf/109e460c-3aa1-84f0-8909-963cb7c564ca
Letting agents also have to be part of one of the following redress schemes:
This helps to protect your consumer rights if you have a problem with the agent. Please contact us if you think a letting agent is not complying with the law. Look for the ‘SAFE’ kite mark if you use an agent – all SAFE agents have client money protection, which means any money you have paid to the agent will be protected if the agent goes out of business.
Spareroom.co.uk, easyroommate.com are websites that offer rooms to rent. You can either search for a room or post your own details on there. Remember; do not rent a room without inspecting it first, it may not even exist.
Top 5 things to think about before you look
1. Who to live with
There is no need to rush your decision about who you live with next year. Delaying your decision until Semester 2 will help you to be confident you’ve picked the right group.
Be upfront with each other about what you can afford and remember that if you sign a joint contract, you will be jointly liable for the rent (see Contracts section).
Try to choose housemates with whom you share a similar approach to tidiness, work and partying. Your home will be a happier place if you have similar expectations.
Don’t panic if your flatmates in halls have all found housemates for next year. Ask friends on your course or in the same societies as you if they would like to find somewhere together
You will need to know what budget you have to live on.
Look at what money is coming in and what money is/will be going out and prioritise what you really need to spend your money on. We have more information on our website about how to budget: www.lboro.ac.uk/services/sass
Properties with bills included can seem like a good option. However, you are not just paying for the bills, you are paying for a service. You could save money by paying the bills yourself. Gather all the necessary information and ask questions. Some questions to ask include:
- What utilities are included i.e. gas, electricity, TV licence?
- What is the inclusive rent compared to rent without bills?
- Is there a cap? What is it?
- Will this be enough? What have the bills been like in the past?
3. What do you want in the property?
Not everything will be possible but your group could draw up a list of essentials and desirables. This will help you when you start viewing properties.
Explore areas near campus to decide where you want to live. Rent levels vary depending on different factors, such as distance from the town centre and public transport links. In Loughborough many students choose to live in a property located in the ‘Golden Triangle’ which is half way between the University and town.
Living out means you will be further from the University so you will need to consider public transport links and what the costs are likely to be over the year.
Viewing a property
You should always go and see the accommodation before you agree to move in or sign any written agreements. Never agree to a place on someone else’s recommendation. You should inspect a potential house systematically. This can save you time, money and problems in the future.
- When viewing the property, take your time (don’t be rushed by others). To help you we have put together a checklist which identifies some of the key things you should look for. Look at ‘Viewing a property checklist’ section. Take this along with you when viewing properties. You will soon forget which property had what. You can find copies on our website.
- Arrange a viewing during the day in order to have a look at the property from the outside.
- Prior to the viewing have a walk around the area at different times of the day and make sure you like the atmosphere and feel safe.
- Visit the area after dark with your housemates to ensure that you feel comfortable in the area at night. This property may be your home for the next 12 months and you need to be safe and secure.
Use our viewing a property checklist
Before you sign
Letting agents understandably want to secure tenants as early as possible. This can sometimes lead to tenants being placed under undue pressure to sign the contract early. Take your time to get the contract checked and ensure the property is right for you and your housemates before you sign. Warning signs that you are being placed under undue pressure may include:
- Letting agents taking telephone calls from other potential tenants of the property in your presence;
- Letting agents insisting on a holding fee being paid immediately;
- Letting agents telling you the property will be gone if you do not sign today.
Students who wait until later in the year may have more bargaining power to negotiate the terms of the contract with the landlord. If repairs are needed to the property or you want it professionally cleaned before you move in, ask the landlord/letting agent before you sign the tenancy agreement. Get this confirmed in writing.
Things to consider:
- Make sure everyone understands when the rent is due and how the bills will be paid.
- Who will have each room? If the room sizes differ, will you divide up the rent to reflect this? In a joint tenancy, this will be up to the tenants to agree amongst themselves.
- Decide with your housemates how you would like to pay the bills (see Living in the property).
- Check that you have a realistic understanding of the likely cost of your energy bills. You can ask the landlord, agent or current tenants how much the bills cost in the last year.
The Energy Performance Certificate will give you information about a property’s energy use, typical energy costs, and how efficient the property is. An EPC gives a property an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and is valid for 10 years. If you are unsure about any aspect of the tenancy, ask the landlord/letting agent for more details.
The Student Advice and Support Service offers a contract checking service and we encourage you to get your contract checked before you sign.
Download the house-hunting extract from our "Guide to living off campus":