Transition from halls to private accommodation

Thursday 08-02-2018 - 13:49

Blog by Sandhiya, University of York student

Hello to all those environmental enthusiasts, students and guidance seekers! My name is Sandhiya and this blog channel is for those who need guidance for things that uni’s may not necessarily help you with.

Some background info: I am originally from Leicester but study at the University of York as an Environmental Science student. My newly founded home is Alcuin College and I represent the college committee as the Environment and Ethics Officer. In my free time I like to do yoga, (Mandie the instructor is amazing!) as it’s a great way of relieving stress!

That’s me in a nutshell but moving on… transitioning from halls to private accommodation. Oooo sounds amazing right, but scary if you don’t do it properly! I was lucky I found a good house but this was done by compromising. When looking at houses the golden rule is making sure the people you want to live with stick by you! This is important as it makes looking at bedroom numbers a lot easier. When you’ve decided, make it clear what you’re after. For instance distance (being close to uni 5-10 min walk), price (under £100/week – in York), having a double bed or even a dishwasher for those lazier students!

Once you know what everyone is after you can filter through landlords or letting agencies to find your perfect home. HOWEVER… when searching certain things need to be considered. The main issue is whether properties have bills included or excluded. Bills included are a popular choice as you don’t have to worry about going over usage but this comes at a price – it is generally a more expensive option as the majority of landlords will take a cut from bills to pay for their time in sorting it out.

As a current student having bills excluded is a more feasible option. The benefits are paying directly to your provider with no excess fees and everything is done online for added convenience. Also you only get charged for what you use and can set up a payment plan that suits you! Common options are direct debit (monthly) or quarterly (every 3 months).

Then getting home with a good Energy performance Certificate (EPC) rating is important. The closer the property is to an A rating the better. This means it’s excellent in energy efficiency with hardly any problems. As you go lower down the band (towards G-rating), houses are more likely to succumb to mould, dampness and generally not being a nice place to live in so avoid the poorer rated properties at all costs. You may find the cost of rent is slightly cheaper in properties with lower EPC ratings but you will have to pay more in energy bills so don’t be misguided and check out the EPC before you commit!

Stay up to date for next time I will address ways to save money on your energy bills :)

Your Environmental Frenzy Sandy x


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