Living Off Campus
Moving from halls of residence to a privately rented house is a big step and one that should not be rushed into.
The following pages will help guide you through this process; we recommend that you seek independant advice before you sign any contract. We know from experience that students who think through every step carefullly have a much better experience that those who don't.
We suggest you do the following:
1. Work out your budget. You cannot even begin to start looking until you know what price range you are looking in.
2. Wait until after you have received your results from your first set of exams/coursework.
3. Consider who you get on best with and who you think you could live with - talk to them about forming a group. Discuss your price range!
4. Look at www.loughboroughstudentpad.co.uk as these are the only properties that the University check.
Use these pages to guide you through the process in more detail or come and see and adviser who can help you get it right.
What you can afford!
This has to be the starting point before you even begin to look at houses. And be realistic, your friends might be able to afford more than you, so you might want to find a different group to live with.
How to work out your budget:
- Look at what money is coming in and calculate that into a weekly or monthly figure. You can use an app, a simple spreadsheet or even a pen and paper! From this money you have to pay rent, food, utility bills (including broadband), course costs, socialising, & travel.
- Rent, food, utility bills and course equipment are essential out goings, if you can’t pay for these things you’ll find yourself in a mess pretty quickly.
- Many private rented properties in Loughborough do include utilities in the rent but it is important to read the tenancy agreement carefully because there can be a cap, and if there is you need to know exactly how much gas/electricity/water will be covered.
- When you know what rent you can afford on your income you can then (and only then) start to look at properties in that price range.
If you need help working out your budget, come and talk to one of our advisers, who will be happy to go through things with you, or you can use one of the many options available on our finance pages.
Choosing your housemates
Think about who you want to share with carefully as you will have to live with them for the next year! Take this quiz to see if you will be a 'Bad Housemate'.
- Sharing a house brings out people's irritating little habits - the smallest issues can become significant. Therefore, if there are things that are irritating now they will become much worse as the year goes on.
- The other thing to consider is what you can all afford, some students are better off than others, so choose a group who can afford a similar amount to you (because of course you have worked out your budget by now!)
- Lots of tenants in a house = many more problems! Try to find a group no bigger than 5 people. Large groups were fine in halls, but are not good in private houses as there is more opportunity for people to fall out, annoy each other and generally come unstuck.
- Choose people you can trust, who have similar likes/dislikes to you and similar ethose to studying. Will they keep you awake all night before an exam because of an impromtu party? Or will they always be telling you to keep quiet when you just want to be sociable? If you have any doubts then keep looking.
If you rent a room in a house without meeting the other tenants, you may well find you have problems later- before agreeing to rent a room, meet the other tenants first. You may still find them annoying later, but it also might flag some warning signs and you will know you have to keep looking; this is where living on campus might be a better option as you have the chance to move flats if you need to. In private rented accommodation you don’t have that choice.
If you are moving to Loughborough from overseas we recommend that you live on campus or that you find some temporary accommodation and house hunt when you arrive.
Every year we see students who have agreed to rent a property without being in the UK. This results in students who are very unhappy with their accommodation as it is not what they expected or students who have lost a lot of money to ruthless people who have conned them into paying rent/deposit for a property that does not exist.
We understand that you want to have somewhere to live guaranteed for when you arrive, but it is not a good idea to trust strangers. The University has some temporary accommodation on campus which you can rent for when you arrive then take time to find the right house/flat for you.
Once you have set your budget, and given serious thought to who you can (and cannot) live with, THEN you can start looking for the right house. More information is in the section on House Hunting.