Should I panic if I haven't found student accommodation?
Everyone has experienced the mad rush trying to find next year’s student accommodation. All the talk of all the good places going, others viewing and signing their houses, the panic of choosing housemates, I’m sure you know the feeling! It can be incredibly panic inducing. This blog answers the all-important question: should I be panicking if I’ve not found next year’s accommodation yet?
The simple answer is no, but it depends, so keep reading.
Firstly, it is important to be informed on your city’s housing market. In some cities like Durham and Exeter, there is a huge rush in Autumn, and you really do need to sort your housing then. However, in other cities like London or Edinburgh, you can get away with leaving the task until Spring term. Some cities have huge housing shortages like Glasgow and Dublin, whilst in other cities like Nottingham and Coventry, the supply matches the demand and there’s far less competition. I would recommend having a look on our website at how many, and what options are available in your city and use this to inform the level of panic needed. If there’s still lots of options left, you are fine. It may also be worth asking a housing advisor at university or older peers when they recommend looking for housing. If you do discover there are not many properties left, you still do not necessarily need to panic.
It is important to note, panicking is often not a productive option and can often lead you into agreeing to things in the heat of the moment. Try to remain level-headed while making decisions about your housing, because you will literally have to live with the decisions you make for a year. Remember you are not alone in this situation and trust that a solution will arise.
Even at this time of year, there are often still many options available, both for groups and for anyone who has not sorted a group. If you have no luck on our website or other local agencies’ websites, I recommend joining house-hunting Facebook groups for your city. Many people will post houses that they’re planning to sign or re-sign where they’re looking for a certain number of housemates to sign with them. This can be great if you’re looking to make up numbers. Though I would recommend meeting potential housemates in person before signing anything. Properties which are not listed in the usual places may also be found on Facebook groups. Many private halls and university may also have spaces available still so ensure you investigate these. If you are just looking for one room or trying to fill one room, have a browse on our new website where you can do exactly that.
There is also the chance that some good properties may become available again. Groups who signed onto the good houses very early-doors may have done so out of panic, and not have thought through the house and their housemates properly. Group disagreements or group members dropping out of houses are situations which are not uncommon. These houses or rooms may become re-available, whether this be via a Facebook page or whether these are completely re-listed online. This can happen at any time in the year, so ensure you keep checking the relevant sites and you may be able to snag something great!
By not panicking and signing early, once you do have your house sorted, you are likely to have a much more positive housing situation and far less stress down the line. It means you have taken the time to get to know and choose the right people to live with and considered your requirements properly. Far too many first years panic three weeks into first term, and sign an eight bedroom house with their current flatmates, who they barely know, and sometimes this really does not end well. So at least you are not in this group. You have also had the Christmas holidays to really reflect on your first term or the year, without university life distracting you. This will make for much more informed and sensible housing-related decisions.
However, I would advise anyone who hasn’t sorted accommodation yet to get the ball rolling before the next assessment period or now! Reach out to people you may want to live with, have a look at housing availability on our website and join some relevant Facebook groups. But definitely do not panic!