So the time has arrived, you’ve decided who your living with, have some ideas on where you want to live and now just have to find a house. This can be a very daunting after being eased gently through halls but there are a lot of letting agencies out there that can help.
Firstly you need to decide whether to go for a student based organisation or a regular estate agents. The name you’ll hear most often will be Lithend Estates, this is a company that deals solely with student accommodation and has quite a few perks because of this.
Lithend have a limited number of houses situated mainly in Winnall, Bar-end and Highcliffe. These are maintained (replacement of any new furniture, and lawn mowing) by the company as part of the rent (on average £360 per month per person) which includes heating and electricity and usually internet. One of the main perks for using a student based estate agent is that there are very low costs before you move in with £120 admin fees.
Alternatively you can go with an Estate agents. There are numerous agency’s in Winchester, located mainly on the hight street. The agencies will usually release a student housing list between January and February, depending on the company.
There are however substantial fees to pay before you move in. If you decide to sign a contract get your parents to look through them as they do look quite scary. These fee’s cover your deposit, first months rent (or sometimes month and a half) and the admin fee’s. The cost of this will all depend on what agency you go to and where you choose to live, as places like the town centre are a lot more expensive.
Once you’ve started your tenancy you will find it works out a lot cheaper with lower rent and control of bill prices. You are expected to manage the bills yourself usually through a joint bank account in the house and the irregular timing of bills can make it harder to budget but overall it works out cheaper.
Whichever way you decide to find a house you’ll find its not as scary as you thought. Everything gets broken down so manageable chunks and people understand this is your first house hunt. There is online advice also at www.soton.ac.uk/accomodation.
Written by Jessica Taylor