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India Edwards

welfare, community & diversity
i.alderson-edwards@uea.ac.uk

an introduction to house hunting

Some of you will have already started to think about where you're going to live next year and who you want to live with. If this is your first time looking for a house or flat on your own, house-hunting can feel a little overwhelming. But whether it's your first time or not, at uea(su) we want to make the experience as hassle free as possible. In this blog I'll introduce you to renting in Norwich and the uea(su) run letting service Home Run.  

First of all, you've got plenty of time to sort accommodation out for next year so there's no need to panic. Norwich has a great stock of student housing for groups of all sizes, so there's something out there for everyone. 

If you're having trouble finding housemates, why not consider coming to a housing social? These take place during the main house hunting period and are a chance to meet potential housemates in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. The dates for this year are: 7th December, 18th January, 25th January, 8th February and 15th March. 

There are lots of private letting agencies in Norwich and they often put their lists of houses out around this time of year. These agents will normally charge admin or guarantor fees, so make sure you know what you'll be expected to pay before you pick one. Alternatively, you can use Home Run Lettings. Home Let is uea(su)'s own letting agency, and Home Run is an accreditation scheme run by the Union. Both provide a range of houses and flats, and one of the big benefits of using them is that these services don’t charge fees. All the houses on this scheme also meet a minimum standard, are inspected by SU staff and have documented fire risk assessments.  

The Home Run list is released on the 20th January, but there will be plenty of great houses left after this date, so make sure you're certain about a house before signing for it. Before you start shortlisting houses, think about the area you want to live in. There are a range of areas that students in Norwich choose to live in, some close to the NNUH, which are often popular with HSC students, and some closer to the University or the City. To see a map of these areas click here 

Another thing to discuss and agree with your housing group before going out to view houses is the availability of facilities which are important to you. If you need car parking, is this available? Also, how much are you able to pay on rent and bills, do you want a house that's all inclusive?  

When you've found a house you all agree on, it's time to sign the tenancy agreement. Before you sign anything, make sure that you've checked three things: 

  • Make sure everyone in the group has seen the house before committing to it. 

  • Make sure you understand the tenancy agreement and are happy that you can afford the bills and rent. Advice(su) will check your tenancy agreement and go through it with you, and we'd really recommend bringing it to them before signing.  

  • Ask questions – for example, check that there is a valid gas safety certificate and there's a proper smoke alarm system. It's also a good idea to talk to the previous tenants if they’re in when you go and view the house and see how they have found it. 

For more information about housing, take a look at the advice pages on the website. There's plenty of information about house-hunting, contracts and deposits here 

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