house hunting

Finding housemates

Not everyone wants to share with the same people you shared a flat with in your first year. You may want to share with just one or two others, to form a bigger group, live with others from your course or make a completely fresh start.

Whether you are looking for a single room, or put together a big group, the Union has options to help you:

The Home Run message board – once you have signed up with Home Run you can use the message board to find a room or advertise a spare room. Also look out for Union Find a Housemate events. These take place during the main house hunting period and are a great chance to meet potential housemates in a relaxed sociable atmosphere. 

If a house share isn’t for you, other options include:

  • University residences – check with the Accommodation office to see what they have available
  • Renting a room from a resident landlord – see our info sheet “Renting a Room from a Resident Landlord” for more information and an outline of the different rights and responsibilities for tenants that live with their landlord.
  • Each year, UEA Student Support Services advertises posts for “Senior Residents” – these are posts where free University accommodation is provided in exchange for providing guidance and support to students living in residences

What to look for

Only you know what sort of house you want to live in. Agree what the essential features you need are, the area you want to live in, then shortlist before you go out to view. Our top tips:

  • Make sure that everyone in the group sees the house before committing to a tenancy agreement.
  • Don’t sign a tenancy agreement unless you are completely happy that you understand the agreement and can afford the rent and bills
  • Ask questions – For example check there is a valid gas safety certificate, and is there a proper smoke alarm system?

Watch this video for the main things to look for when house-hunting and warning signs you shouldn’t ignore:

Here’s a link to a handy downloadable checklist to use when you are looking round properties.

Look out for the Union house-hunting guide which is full of handy tips – you can get a copy from the Advice Service.

Found a house?

Before you sign anything make sure you fully understand your tenancy agreement. Make an appointment with an Advice Worker to explain it and answer any questions you have.

This video sets out some of the important things you need to know about tenancy agreements:

See our downloadable guide to  Tenancy Agreements  which contains information on what tenancy agreements are, their legal status and some of the things to look out for.