In another post for our Move Smart campaign, we focus this week on people.

When it comes to finding accommodation after your first year at University, the people you choose to live with is one of the biggest contributors to a successful move. Renting a house for an academic year is a big financial commitment so thinking about it carefully now will pay off in the long term.

What are the options?

Finding people to live with can be quite a personal journey and there are lots of options to consider, such as living with your course mates, current flat mates or friends you’ve made through clubs and societies. Or you could make a change and decide to meet new people to share with, or of course if it suits your circumstances, you could choose to live somewhere on your own.

If you’re already thinking that some or all of the people you live around now will feature at your next place, then great. However, living together in University accommodation can be very different to sharing the extra responsibilities and chores in private accommodation.

If you’re not yet sure who you’d like to live with, there is plenty of time to find likeminded people, or you might find the right place first and naturally fit in with the others living there.

What to consider when looking for people to live with

There are common themes that often crop up in causing conflict in groups of people who live together, so it’s best to think about how you feel about those topics and ideally find people who feel roughly the same to live with. These include:

  • Money – Be honest and clear with yourself and others about the budget you have for rent and bills to avoid getting out of your depth further down the line.
  • Cleaning –Before agreeing to share with others, talk about the level of cleaning standards or expectations you each have when it comes to shared spaces.
  • Noise – You might think you’ll be up for a party every night but in reality, that may not be the case for everyone. It’s a good idea to agree with those you’re sharing with how the home will be used during the day and night times, and how much noise or how many visitors you’re all comfortable with.

How to make the best decision

As well as the tips above, we have a handy set of questions which can really help break the ice on those awkward conversations, either with a group of people you’re already thinking of living with, or in your search for likeminded housemates. Take a look at the ‘People’ tab on our Move Smart webpage for more information and advice and to take the quiz.

How to find people to live with

If you don’t have a clear idea of who to live with after your first year, please don’t panic. There are different resources out there to help you find great housemates:

  • Flatmate finder events

7 November, 5 December and 16 January, 18:30 – 19:30 in Devonshire House Level 1 on the Streatham Campus.

Join the Residence Life Team and Students’ Guild Advice Team for a relaxed gathering, where you can chat with the teams and other students looking for people to live with over some tasty snacks.

  • Studentpad

If you haven’t already signed up to the free portal Studentpad to look for accommodation, then this could be another reason to login. You can register yourself on the ‘Roommate finder facility’ or use the message board to connect with other students looking for housemates, or even a group who have found a property but are looking for people to fill remaining rooms.

  • Students’ Guild website

With lots of advice around finding a place to live and answers to some common questions around living with others, the Students’ Guild website is a great resource to use.

We hope these tips have been helpful and that you consider carefully who to commit to living with to give yourself a great living experience after your first year.

And finally…

We’ll have a variety of private landlords and purpose-build student accommodation providers on campus on Monday 7 November, in the Forum Street between 10am and 3pm. Pop along and see what their properties have to offer. Stay up to date on this and other events by following the Accommodation Facebook page.

The Accommodation Team