Looking for your first property is an exciting rite of passage for students that can be a lot of fun, but it can seem daunting if you aren't sure what you need from your second year university accommodation. In this guide we explain the ins and outs of the whole process of finding a student property in Plymouth.
We start to get enquiries from students looking to book houses from as early as the middle of October for the following September. We start viewings at the end of October and the busiest time is November, December and January. As you would expect, the best houses in Plymouth's top locations get snapped up very quickly. Don't worry if you're not ready to start looking that early. You can still secure a house later in the year. You'll just have a bit less choice. Smaller groups, or individuals wanting to join a bigger house? We always have a few properties that we fill this way. It's a great way to meet new people.
Plymouth has a huge variety of accommodation available for students. Whether you're looking for a big house with communal spaces for a large group, or a flat for a selected few, there's lots to choose from. Think about what you spend a lot of time doing. If you are an aspiring masterchef, a big spacious kitchen might be your thing. If you love a BBQ, outdoor space is a must. Got lots of surfboards and wetsuits? Think about storage- and an outdoor tap! Spend a lot of time studying in your room? Then, a big desk is essential. Do you want to be a 2 minute walk from Campus, or would you prefer a bigger house in a quieter area? Would you like to be close to parks, near the gym, or a short walk to a supermarket?
This is really important. Lots of people choose to stick with the same or a similar group to those they lived within their student accommodation halls, or maybe course mates, teammates from sports, or fellow society members – but will the fact that you get on well as friends mean that you work well as a group of housemates? We don’t mean to be unromantic, but if any of your housemates are in a relationship, ask yourself the question – what will happen to living arrangements if they break up? Think about whether you want to be part of a group that goes out a lot, likes to cook together, want to stay in and chill, focus on your studies, or a combination of all these things!
Try to agree on your priorities before you start viewings and that you trust those going on viewings to be good decision makers.
In your first year, you are most likely to be in University of Plymouth student accommodation halls, or private halls. Halls are great for meeting new people, but are expensive and are often lacking in space and access to oudoor areas. The great news is that renting a house is much better value. Our student rooms in shared houses are typically £95-£100 for a furnished double bedroom. Exceptionally large rooms and ensuites can be up to £115. In our houses with 3 or more tenants, bills and fast wifi package are included in the rent.
Once you've weighed up what's important to you, your location and decided on the size of house you're looking for, it's time to get viewing! Take a look on our website and some of the property portals. You can book viewings by filling out a form on the website, by emailing, phoning or text. We've found that it works well to look at 3 or 4 properties when viewing. This gives you a good chance to compare some different layouts and roads and see what would fit your group best. Come with as many questions as you like- we should be able to answer all your queries! Love the house but want something added like outdooor furniture, or a bigger desk? Just let us know and we'll see if we can do that for you.
This year with Covid restricting us all, we put together video tours of our properties on our YouTube channel. This has worked really well and lets you view and book a house from wherever you are. It's a great way to narrow down your choices, have a reminder after the viewing, or to show the house to a member of the group who can't attend in person. We'll definitely be using these in the future and predict this becoming a more popular way to view and book houses as time goes on.
Once you've chosen your property, you can reserve it by emailing or giving us a call. We will email you the paperwork to read through along with instructions for getting it completed. We ask for a guarantor, and a £200 deposit per person. This is registered and protected and refundable at the end of the tenancy. There are no other fees or advance rent to pay.
All the paperwork can be completed and returned by email and tenancy agreements are signed electronically.
Think in advance about the questions you have before viewing a student property, as it's best to know as much as possible in advance of choosing and moving into a home.