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How do I find the best private off-campus student housing?

Student houses for rent

Sourcing student housing can be a stressful endeavour when it’s time to find off campus accommodation. Though the positives of living in private housing as a student can make it an attractive prospect over living on campus, the third party nature of the arrangement means there is a lot more responsibility on you and your housemates’ shoulders. What’s the best way to approach private student housing, and how do you get the ball rolling? 

How can a student find a house in Liverpool? 

There are a lot of ways to approach house hunting as a student. Same as many goods and services in the modern age, the internet is a good vehicle for finding what you need. When it comes to finding off campus accommodation, though, the more traditional methods cannot be discounted.

If you do opt to search online, property sites like Rightmove have special search provision to help you find student accommodation without needing to filter them out of general rental properties. This can be useful for fetching a wide range of properties to brows, but be mindful that if you’re new to the game of looking for rental properties, choice paralysis is a real risk when presented with too many options at once. 

Property aggregate sites do often allow for filtering and sorting of results so that you can focus on properties within a price range, of a certain type, or with a specific number of rooms. However, in highly populated student cities like Liverpool, this can still yield hundreds of results that are hard to pick apart, especially for beginners. 

Another possible route to finding student housing is through classified ads or social media posts from landlords who have a property to advertise, but these should always be approached with caution. Some deals really are too good to be true, and desperation from a late-planned house hunt could lead you to sign on to something subpar or overly expensive.

Looking for private listings can be tempting since renting directly from a landlord can often mean fewer admin fees and the landlord has more freedom to waive certain costs or bundle rent and bills together into one monthly payment amount. 

However, operating in this way is what enables rogue landlords to flout the laws and regulations that ensure hiring through estate agents is more secure, more transparent, and more accountable in the event of a miscommunication or dispute. There is also more protection of money exchanging hands, and the protection status of payments like holding deposits can get messy if the landlord decides to go back on their word or misinterpret an agreement between you and them.

Finding a house in Liverpool can be made much easier and much quicker when put in the hands of experienced estate agents. This can be true for a range of reasons, including:

Local knowledge

Many estate agents will hone their capabilities by cultivating a strong knowledge of the local area their office serves. This allows estate agents to tailor their searches and recommendations based on demographics, geography, amenities, public transport links, and many other factors that can make or break the perfect location.

For students hoping to rent a location for an entire year or longer, there are some factors that can’t be overlooked. Living two doors down from the local pub will seem like a really poor decision when your ability to sleep is all but non-existent.

Trustworthiness

Estate agents that uphold membership of a professional body such as Propertymark are signalling their adherence to ethical practices and transparent operating standards. Good estate agencies will have good reviews to browse, and will be under certain obligations when it comes to the security of deposits and their responses to maintenance issues.

Estate agents don’t just help landlords; they help tenants as well. They can be an essential bridge of communication between tenant and landlord, and respond quickly when emergencies arise. Knowing your living conditions lie in trusted hands is an importance that cannot be overstated.

Flexibility

Estate agents can do more with your query than a search engine or property website. You may view a property and find it’s not what you hoped, but that only gives a good agent the opportunity to make a recommendation based on what they’ve learned about your needs.

Sometimes an estate agent may be aware of an upcoming listing that’s not yet been put up for viewing, giving you the chance to see it early and potentially make a deal ahead of anybody else. Student lettings typically involve groups, too, which an estate agent can factor in to their recommendations better than a search form.

When should you look for student housing?

The true answer depends on your circumstances and if there’s anything you need to wait for, such as knowing how many people will be living in the accommodation or what your realistic collective budget is.

Generally, looking for student housing shouldn’t be put on the back burner for too long. Cities like Liverpool can be highly competitive for good accommodation, and leaving your search until the last minute can drastically complicate your time as a student.

Work out who your roommates might be as early as you can, work out the factors that you agree on, and look for suitable accommodation together to eliminate any misunderstandings or anybody getting a ‘raw deal’.

How do I find second year housing?

Second year housing can be a tricky gear shift as the end of first year accommodation looms. Many universities will recommend or require that students live on-campus for their first year (and for good reason).

Second year tends to be when many students consider the move to private accommodation, either to save money, meet new people, live closer to the university and with friends they’ve made in their first year, or any number of different reasons.

Finding second year housing is easiest when worked out as part of a group, and though there’s nothing inherently wrong with seeking off campus accommodation on your own, working as a group provides a certain extra level of security. It also means that important decisions can be tackled with multiple perspectives and made jointly.

For a strong start to your second year accommodation hunt, pop into you local estate agent’s office and make an enquiry.

How can a student get a flat?

Securing a flat as a student works much like any other time in your life. However, your status as a student will likely mean you will need a guarantor who can pick up your rental payments should you become unable to pay for any reason.

If your only source of income is student loan payments, this is especially necessary as admin errors with student loans are not unheard of.

That having been said, renting as a student is rarely complicated and an estate agent can guide you through the process with little to no hassle.

How do I find the best student housing?

No single way of finding student housing is best on its own, and it’s a good idea to combine two or more approaches to ensure you’re getting the best view of the market in your location.

It’s always ideal to include an estate agents in this process so that you have a human point of contact for questions and to register your interest in certain kinds of properties, so that you have a reliable resource to consult during your hunt.

Mistoria Estate Agents Liverpool can help you find student accommodation that ticks all the boxes and leaves you with peace of mind. Focus on your studies and live your best student life without any worries for the roof over your head.

To learn more about how we can make your hunt for student housing as pain-free as possible, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today or fill our online application.

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