The Big Question aims to answer those queries that students find themselves asking everyday- the big and the small; the serious and the silly. Stuck at an impossible crossroads? Let Impact help you make an informed decision.

“Patience is a virtue in this case.”- Bethan argues YES

Is too soon to start looking for a house? Should I wait until January? What if all the best houses are gone? What if all the houses are gone? These may be the questions spinning around your head, but trust me; patience is a virtue in this case.

It’s a common myth that all the best houses are gone by Christmas and you need to get in now if you want anything decent for less-than-extortionate prices. This just isn’t true.

Some landlords won’t even advertise properties until they’ve found out whether the previous year’s occupants want to stay.

Whilst some may be gone through word of mouth or through students deciding that they want to keep their house another year, there are plenty of houses that won’t even be on the market until January; some landlords won’t even advertise properties until they’ve found out whether the previous year’s occupants want to stay.

By rushing into finding a house, you won’t be giving yourself enough time to look around, find the area you want to live in and the people you want to live with; you may miss out on the chance of finding your perfect house.

Waiting for the Unipol DASH Code accredited properties to be advertised will help you avoid many of the issues that come with student accommodation.

Unipol, the university’s recommended student housing charity, advises students to wait until the official start date in January so they get the widest range of choices. They run the Unipol DASH (Decent And Safe Homes) Code which is Nottingham’s official student accommodation accreditation service, so waiting for the Unipol DASH Code accredited properties to be advertised will help you avoid many of the issues that come with student accommodation.

You won’t be giving yourself enough time to look around, find the area you want to live in and the people you want to live with.

There’s no chance of properties running out, either. There is a large surplus of student housing in Nottingham: there were nearly 2000 spare beds at the end of September this year, and Unipol has at least 501 new bed spaces appearing in September 2014. It is definitely a case of supply outweighing demand, which means that leaving your searching until later could secure you a better deal.

Students who leave their house-hunting until later have been able to negotiate much lower prices.

By agreeing to sign contracts before Christmas, landlords may feel secure in demanding much more rent from you, as they know that even if you turn them down they have plenty of time to find someone else. Students who leave their house-hunting until later have been able to negotiate much lower prices.

So relax, enjoy the lead up to Christmas and don’t worry about looking for houses until the end of January. There are plenty out there, and one is bound to be perfect for you.

Bethan Wilkes

“I would rather not brave the rush that ensues when the deadline gets nearer.”- Beth argues NO. 

Two months at university, and I’ve already started looking at houses for next year. Keen? Yes, but for a good reason: I want a half-decent house.

I want a half-decent house.

I’ve already encountered Facebook groups such as ‘Crap Landlord/House Awareness’, set up by University of Nottingham students to help others avoid bad houses, and even worse, bad landlords. As is written on this Facebook group: “the majority (of houses) are likely to contravene housing regulations, have a criminal landlord and will cost an arm and a leg for what is essentially a glorified cupboard”. I’m not sure about you, but that makes me nervous.

I met my housemates on the very first day, as they are my current hall neighbours, and it was on the infamous Ocean carpet that we agreed to live together next year.

I met my housemates on the very first day, as they are my current hall neighbours, and it was on the infamous Ocean carpet that we agreed to live together next year. Possibly crazy, as it was the first night of Freshers Week and more than one member of the group had had a few too many drinks, but two months later, we are still happy to all live together. So it seems like the perfect time to start looking for houses.

When I told my future housemates about this debate, the response was bemusement that other people haven’t started looking. Cat Orr, a first year Philosophy and Classics student said: “All the houses will be gone if we don’t start looking, surely?”

“All the houses will be gone if we don’t start looking, surely?”

Unipol’s statistics show that there has been an increase in students in Nottingham this year; the number has risen by 32,860, with the total number of students this year now standing at 334,860. If there are a growing number of students in the city, it makes sense to plan in advance. Like Christmas shopping, I would rather not brave the rush that ensues when the deadline gets nearer. ‘The early bird catches the worm” is cliché for a reason.

‘The early bird catches the worm” is cliché for a reason.

I am not alone, either – most of my friends have already started looking at houses, or at least deciding on housemates. Those who haven’t yet found housemates are starting to worry. The advice is to wait until January, but think of the students who aren’t waiting.

The advice is to wait until January, but think of the students who aren’t waiting.

The advice therefore is that it is not essential to have already worked out the washing up rota and decided on bedrooms, but if you want a good house, start looking now. If you don’t, who knows what you could end up with!

Beth Rowland

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1 Comment

  1. November 26, 2013 at 08:52 — Reply

    “Unipol’s statistics for Nottingham show that there has been an increase in students in Nottingham this year, with the number rising by 32,860 to 334,860.”

    I think that might be a typo..

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