A guide to student housing in Selly Oak
It's that time of year, (no, not Christmas) where everyone kicks into third gear because they realise they still haven't sorted out their housing for next year, and so there's a mad rush for the last houses available. We've all been there, unfortunately. But here's a guide to help find you the best new home in Selly for your next year at UoB!
The Agencies to Avoid
Now and then, the Fab n Fresh Facebook page is a true life-saver, and this is certainly one of those times. Here is a general overview of the agencies you should probably avoid:
From the stories in the comments and past experiences, Easy Lettings are the worst, by far. Many people have complained of things being broken or mouldy upon moving in, and then Easy Lettings pretty much dodging all complaints until people have shown up in person to complain. In my mind, Easy Lettings is the least trustworthy by far and feel the most like a scam.
Prestige seems to be another one to be wary of, as people have complained about changes in prices and money issues. They also seem to be aiming to dig into your deposit. Overall, they seem shifty, to say the least. The same follows for Purple Frog and Property Solutions.
Oakmans are not bad, but incompetent, basically. Most of their houses are nice, if expensive, but the people working there will find any way to blame you for damages and put up a fight. From personal experience, their property manager is a real pain, and you don't want to get into an argument with her as she will put her defences up immediately and try to blame you for the issue. I wouldn't say to avoid them completely but to only go with them if you're willing to put up a fight for things to be fixed. Also, shoddy building quality means you will constantly have workmen coming in to fix the house.
Not much has been shared about the others on the list, but there were some reiterations that KB Roman is absolutely awful and the reason it isn't higher up is that it's a less well-known agency, so definitely keep that in mind!
Sooo, is anyone good?
Honestly, I haven't met anyone completely happy with their letting agency. The truth of the matter is that student housing is often a real pain, and agencies think they can be neglectful or awful without getting into much trouble because they don't expect students to make a fuss. Don't let them mistreat you!
That being said, I have heard again and again that King & Co. are lovely people and they seem more responsible. So, if you can, find a way to go with them because it's truly exceptional to see multiple good reviews of a letting agency.
If you want a safe bet, I would say to go with Guild Lettings too, because there's the safety net of the university backing them up. And I haven't seen many complaints - which, in the case of letting agencies, seems to be the best you can hope for.
Where to live?
Where you rent is very much dependent on your budget - the farther away from uni, the cheaper. So, if you like cycling into uni or a long stroll, go ahead and search further away for lower prices.
That being said, there are some cheaper houses on the main roads of Selly Oak. These houses will often be smaller than their pricier counterparts, but there are a couple of decently priced bigger ones, generally, on Bournebrook or Dawlish. Also be wary of older houses - if you're going to live in one, you want to know you can trust your landlord and agency to be there if something needs fixing.
You also need to be careful with new houses, though, as no agency is to be trusted. For example, my house was built the summer before we moved in, and we dread the day we move out, and every little bit of damage will be blamed on us. However, we do have a prime location on Exeter Road - so keep in mind that a clean, inviting house on a good road might just be a bit too good to be true if you have a crap letting agency.
Overall, it comes down to three main factors: letting agency quality, price range, and timing. The best houses for cheap go quickly, so always be on your toes. Good luck!
#tyro #digs #birmingham #SellyOak