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A student guide to moving into private rented accommodation

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Think about the cost of your commute when choosing a location

Students

A student guide to moving into private rented accommodation

With the end of the academic year fast approaching it’s time for students to make a decision: move home for the summer or start privately renting accommodation. Where will you live over the summer?

It’s a scary choice to make. No one particularly wants to move back to the restrictions of being at home after the freedom that comes with being at university. But can you really afford to survive over the summer sans student finance?

For those braving the world of private renting here are some top tips on how to find your perfect house, and maintain it until your next student loan:

Be realistic: We would all love to live in a four-bedroom townhouse in Chelsea and pretend we have millions of pounds to spend on hosting amazingly cool house parties in our new pad. But is that really realistic? Think carefully about your budget. How much can you afford to spend per month on your rent and bills? You may not get a four bed in Chelsea, but you may be able to afford a cute flat in Camberwell.

Think about location: There’s no point moving into a lovely house in Enfield if you have to travel over an hour on two buses and a train to get into university. Think of the pain of getting in for 9 am lectures. Instead, consider your universities location and the location of any part-time work you have or are planning on getting. You may not be able to find affordable housing within walking distance; however, a 30-minute tube journey isn’t as painful as it may sound.

Think about your saving: When moving into privately rented accommodation remember you will have to pay a deposit, and potentially moving fees as well. Think about saving as much money from your student loan as possible to pay for these fees. Your deposit will be around a month’s rent so factor this into your summer budgeting. Always remember that your student loan won’t last the whole summer so think about how you will pay rent once it runs out.

Think about your housemates: Think very carefully about who you want to move in with and how many of you there will be. Larger houses with more bedrooms are harder to find in London and may result in you being in the outer zones of the city, however, they may be cheaper. Two-four-bedroom properties and easier to find, more central, but can be a little pricier. Think carefully about who you really want to live with for the next 12 months and how it will affect your price range.

Head over to Rightmove and start your property search now. The sooner you begin the sooner you can find a house and, hopefully, the less of your student loan you will waste on treating yourself. Happy house hunting.

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