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Six Student Accommodation Pitfalls to Avoid

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As the date to leave to go to university draws closer, you need to get serious about checking important things off your to-do list. One of the most important things to do is find and secure your Sheffield student accommodation.

Whilst looking at student properties, there are common pitfalls that many students make that you want to avoid. You might fall in love with the first place you see but there are some things that you should consider before signing the tenancy agreement. Here are some common student accommodation pitfalls that you need to avoid.

Taking the Landlord at Their Word

If a potential landlord tells you something that seems too good to be true, you really want to believe them. Most of us like to believe that others are always honest, and we can take them at their word. However, that isn't always the case.

You need to ask your potential landlord very specific questions and get anything that seems too good to be true in writing. If you take the landlord's word in good faith without doing any research, it can lead to problems later on.

It's also a good idea to check what previous tenants think of the landlord by checking their Facebook and Google reviews.

Choosing Your Roommates From the First People Who Ask

One of the biggest mistakes first-years make is not considering who they're rooming with and how it will work. It might seem like a lark to share a flat with your best mates, but that might not be the case. You may not be compatible in a shared space situation or sharing a space with your best mates could cause you to lose focus on your classes.

Once you commit to a roommate or more than one, you're going to be spending the next year sharing accommodation. It's beneficial to consider their interests, their cleaning habits, their course schedule, and even their daily schedule. You don't want to share with someone who parties into the early hours when you have an early morning lecture.

Committing to Second-Year Accommodation Too Early

You probably take pride in being an organised person; however, you don't want to commit to your second-year accommodation during your first week at university. When you first arrive, everything is brand new and exciting. You're in a honeymoon period with your roommates. This makes it easy to commit to your second-year accommodation in the same place with the same people.

You may find in a couple of months that you aren't as compatible with your roommates as you first thought, or you may find that there are better housing options in more popular spots. You don't want to be locked into a contract for your second year when you find out these things. It's okay to wait a few months before committing to living in the same place with the same people for a second year.

Failing to Explore the Local Area

Before you sign the tenancy agreement, it's a good idea to check out the local area. Are you bringing a car with you, or are you taking the bus? Is there parking or a bus stop nearby? You want to know how far you are from your classrooms and lectures. It's also a good idea to check out the local shops.

You need to think about access to the places you need to shop and the spots you want to enjoy. Is there a local pub to grab a quick pint on the way home? After touring a property that you really like, it's a good idea to walk around the local area to get a sense of the vibe and ensure it has the amenities that you need easy access to. There may be some things you can forego but others that are a must.

Sheffield contains a variety of student accommodation hot-spots, the most popular being those around the Ecclesall Road area.  View our property listings page if you want to filter your student accommodation options by price and/or a number of bedrooms, or view the interactive map on our home page if the location is the all-important factor in your decision.  Or to learn more, view our helpful guide to student accommodation in Sheffield.

Not Asking Questions

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is not asking questions when you're looking at properties. You want to take a list of questions with you and ask all of them at any location you're interested in renting. You need to know things such as how much is the rent per week/month, what payment methods does the landlord take, what utilities are included in the rent etc.

You want to get answers to all of your questions even if they aren't the answers you wanted. Once you've seen all properties and asked your questions, you'll have a better idea about which place is the best choice.

Just remember, there is no such thing as a stupid question.

Not Reading the Fine Print

You've found the property for you and the ideal roommates, and the only thing left to do is sign the tenancy agreement. Not so fast. You need to take the time to sit down and read the agreement — yes, even the fine print — from start to finish. You don't want to move into your student accommodation only to find that you've agreed to something you never would have agreed to if you'd read the agreement.

If you have any questions, you need to discuss them with the landlord. They might be willing to negotiate certain clauses with you. Your university might offer free legal advice on tenancy agreements as part of its student services. Reach out to them for help. If something seems off about the contract, or you feel uncertain, you might want to talk to a legal professional before signing or choose a different property.

Remember that once you sign the agreement, you're bound to the terms for the period of the agreement, so read the fine print.

At Claypenny Properties, we're dedicated to helping students find the right accommodation in Sheffield, tailored to their budget and needs. We can help you identify the area you want to live in and secure a property with enough room for you and your mates. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.


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