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10 Top Housing Tips All Hallam Students Need To Know!

Don't let the landlords panic you into signing a housing contract! There are more than enough student houses in Sheffield to go around. Here are our quick housing tips to help you avoid a housing horror!

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#1 - DON'T PANIC! TAKE YOUR TIME TO FIND A PLACE!

Don't believe the myth that there is a shortage of student housing in Sheffield, it's not true! There is actually a surplus of good quality student accommodation, and it's always best to take your time to find the best place for you. Make sure you get a good one, you deserve it!

#2 - Find out if your house is 'snug accredited'!

No one wants to live in an unsafe dirty hell-hole, and we think you deserve better. This is where 'Snug' comes in! Sheffield Hallam Students' Union the University, and Sheffield City Council have come together to set up an award winning scheme that aims to make sure student property meets our high standards. If it doesn't meet them, we don't advertise them.

#3 - Make sure your deposit is protected!

If you're going to hand over a large wad of cash to a complete stranger, you're going to want to know that it is protected. Government approved Tenancy Deposit Protection Schemes are a legal requirement in England, so make sure your landlord gets your deposit in one within 30 days of you handing them your money. Also, if the landlord decides to take £150 off you because they still haven't fixed broken cupboard that was definitely like that when you moved in, then your deposit can be subject to free 'Dispute Resolution' if it is being held in the right place.

#4 - Know what contract you've got, and how to get out of it!

If you're living in a shared house, you can have either a separate or joint tenancy. If you sign for a joint tenancy, each individual is liable to pay the full rent. That means that if one person decides to move out early, the rest of you have a responsibility to make up the rent. This is particularly tricky if you're sharing with mates with course dates different to your own, so make sure you know exactly which one you've got and plan ahead.

#5 - Inspect the house for everything!

Don't sign without having a look a place first. Sounds like common sense, but this isn't to see whether you like the colour of the walls, you need to view the house at least once, but twice won’t hurt! Take photos and notice whether the property looks well kept. If your landlord doesn't look after the place, you can bet that they won't look after you either.

#6 - Choose your housemates wisely!

So you have decided to get a house with Lairy Louise and 10-pint Tom because they are both #legends and you always have a great time at HallamNation with them. But after a few weeks of living with them, you realise that you are a bit of a clean freak and they don't even know how to use a vacuum cleaner. Nightmare! Choose who you live with wisely - your best mate might not be the best flatmate.

#7 - Budget for everything before you sign!

You've found the perfect place, and you just have to sign for it! But then you realise that if you pay £650 per month in rent, you'll have literally no money left to live. Thankfully, you took into account how much money you would have per month and could work out a bit of a budget. You decided to go for the other place that was only £450 per month, leaving you money for important stuff like food. Go you, you just avoided a horribly stressful situation that at least one person in your class will have this year…

#8 - Don't forget the extra bills…!

… but then you decided to get fibre-optic broadband, that BT Sport bundle so you can watch all the Premier League games you can, and your house has a terrible Energy Performance rating so it costs an arm and a leg if you want to have the heater on. Always remember to factor in bills; they can hurt if you aren't careful! Switching suppliers can often save you a packet (which you are allowed to do). Many landlords offer all-inclusive rent, but that doesn't necessarily make it cheaper.

#9 - Know exactly how to contact your landlord!

Landlords are responsible for repairs, so if anything goes wrong, you need to know how to tell them! It's always helpful to maintain a good relationship with your landlord, because it's nice to be nice, and they're humans as well! However if you get a bad one who continues to ignore you about how they need to fix the boiler, then you might need to be direct. And you have back up - it's called "the 1985 Landlord and Tenant Act". Make sure you reference it and talk to us if it still isn't working.

#10 - NO REALLY, DON'T PANIC! TAKE YOUR TIME WITH EVERYTHING!

There is a lot to take in when it comes to student housing, so take your time. Visit lots of places so you can get an idea of what is available, don't just sign for the first place you see. Talk to your friends about what your individual wants and needs, check out different areas, plan and budget, and remember to fully read and understand your contract before you sign. Go on you, you've got this!

We want to know about your experiences of student housing and accommodation! Tell us and be in with a chance to win pictures of the Queen’s face in the process! Have you had issues, or feel like you've been ripped off? Give us your thoughts and you could win £50! It will take you just a few minutes and you could be quids in at the end of it! Someone is going to win the money, it could be you!

Start the survey HERE

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