Living off campus

Are you planning to live off-campus next year? Make sure you rent smart and find a place to live where you can be happy! It’s so important you make the right decisions at the right time about where you live and who you live with. Watch this video to see our top tips on making sure you find a home that's right for you and to see the process of looking for and signing for a house before you do it. 

 

There's no need to rush to rent! There is sometimes pressure put on students to sign contracts many months in advance of the next academic year. This causes rash decision-making that you may regret and then wish you took the extra time to make an informed decision.  

That is why we advise you hold off renting until you are sure you are ready! 

The LU Homes Accreditation Scheme is a housing scheme that has been approved by Lancaster University. It offers the widest choice of landlords in Lancaster that you can search. All Living houses have passed this accreditation scheme, but make sure you see if the landlord you are thinking of renting with has! 

The video shows the process of finding off-campus accommodation with Living so you can see what to expect when looking for a house. 

 

 

Here’s some things to think of when looking at houses to find something that’s right for you. 

 

 

Number of rooms  - there are a large variety of houses in Lancaster to suit different group sizes, but it is likely that you will be living in a smaller group than you did on campus. 

Budget - your budget is important, and you have to make sure it suits your whole group. Rent costs in town are often lower than on campus but calculate the total rent for the year and compare it to what you are currently paying. 

Location - make sure you check the location you want to live in. The centre of town is good as you are close to everything, but it will also probably be louder. See how far away the closest shop and bus stop is from the property. Instead of getting a taxi to the viewing, try and visit using the mode of transport that you will be travelling to and from uni in so that you can see what the journey will be like. 

What rent includes - double check what the rent price includes – will you have to pay extra for a TV license, bills and parking?  

Deposit - does your landlord require you to pay a deposit? When does this need to be paid and how much is it?  

Tenancy length - check the tenancy length. Don’t forget, an additional 4 weeks on your tenancy can easily be an extra £400. 

 

Once you’ve found a house you like the look of and your group agrees on, the next step is collecting and signing the contract! Are you ready? Before you sign anything, have you: 

Looked at multiple landlords and properties don’t just settle for the first thing you see 

Accreditation - checked out the LU Homes Accreditation Scheme to see if your landlord is accredited

Check your contract - have you checked your contract thoroughly? You can have your contract checked by the union's Advice and Support team if there’s anything you’re not sure on 

Deposit - found out and confirmed, in writing, where your deposit is going to be held 

Location - considered local amenities and travel times to university 

Are you happy? - made sure it is the property you want 

Housemates - made sure you are happy to live with your group of housemates 

Contact - found out who your point of contact with the letting company will be 

 

Remember, your contract is legally binding and a year-long commitment! You cannot change your mind half-way through the year because you find a better property or other friends. 

 

Don’t forget there is no rush to find a property, and make sure you rent smart.